A judge struck down assisted suicide in California, saying state lawmakers improperly enacted the law allowing patients deemed terminally ill to kill themselves.

On Tuesday Riverside superior court judge Daniel A. Ottolia ruled that state Democrats misused a special legislative session to adopt assisted suicide. In 2015 California lawmakers fast-tracked the bill, known as the End of Life Option Act, and passed it during a special legislative session called to close a $1 billion funding gap in the MediCal program. Ottolia emphasized that his decision to strike down the law reflected the manner in which the law was passed, rather than the merits of assisted suicide.

California’s Democratic attorney general Xavier Becerra disputed the ruling. An office spokesman said the state plans to appeal the decision to protect the law.

“We strongly disagree with this ruling and the State is seeking expedited review in the Court of Appeal,” Becerra said in a statement.

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