Attorney Sam J. Saad III's Published Works

Living Wills: Validity and Morality

Published in the Vermont Law Review, Vol. 30:071:2005, Book 1 (Fall 2005): 72-122.

Introduction: My interest in the subject of living wills extends from my own experience with them, particularly my father's decision to write a living will after watching his father die of Alzheimer's disease. To begin, I would like to tell a story about my grandfather, his battle with Alzheimer's, and the events that followed from his death.

I will start out by telling what I remember about his death. Then I will briefly discuss his life to illustrate the gravity of the situation and its importance to me. Lastly, I will discuss the ramifications of his death for my family, and specifically, my father's decision to sign a living will. In connection with this last point, I will review the law regarding living wills.

The discussion will focus on what the courts have stated with regard to living wills and a living will's validity and purpose under state statutes. In the discussion, I will consider the legal question of a living will's validity, but I will also remain mindful of the moral inquiry that attends any discussion of death. I will conclude the discussion with some of my personal feelings regarding the choice to terminate lifesaving attempts.

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Commerce Clause Jurisprudence: Has There Been a Change?

Published in the Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2003): 143-172.

Introduction: The Commerce Clause of the federal Constitution has been the greatest source of power for the federal government in its regulation of all aspects of American life. One aspect, however, stands out as a mass consumer of the Commerce Clause's power-environmental regulation. The Commerce Clause states, "The Congress shall have the power ... to regulate Commerce ... among the several States." Nevertheless, the exact extent of the power granted by the Commerce Clause remains elusive.

In Gibbons v. Ogden, the state of New York argued that commerce is limited to traffic, the interchange of commodities, or to buying and selling. For the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Marshall found that definition too restrictive because commerce has too many applications. The Chief Justice gave a sense of what interstate commerce meant when he stated, "[Commerce] is something more: it is intercourse. It describes the commercial intercourse between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches ...." Chief Justice John Marshall extolled in the commerce power "a wide breadth never yet exceeded;" and warned that the commerce power's restraint came from the political process, not the judicial process.

Chief Justice Marshall's interpretation indicates that interstate commerce is more than the exchange of goods and services between nations and states; it is trade and other business activities between those located in different states, particularly traffic in goods and travel of people between states.

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