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Monday, March 21, 2005

George Will on ABC's This Week - speaking about the Schiavo case:
Live is very precious, but so is the rule of law. This begins to look like Congress trampling rule of law. The rule of law, (indeed conservatism I should have thought), is about respecting limits. Limits to the Congressional power to subpoena. Here they’re subpoenaing - with a kind of clever lawyer’s trick - a woman in a fifteen-year’s persistent vegetative state. Limits on the competence of Congress. Limits imposed by federalism. Limits imposed by respect for state judiciaries. All of this has been thrown out the window for what looks like a play to the Republican base. And there is a political risk in this. Because if there is a general anxiety about the Republican party among swing voters, it is that it is wagged by the tail of certain extremists. And the extremists have no respect for zones of privacy such as a family dispute like this.

The decision they [Congress] are making is to give the parents access to federal courts. Change the judicial venue, the result is going to be the same   -   unless we are prepared to, this weekend, overturn centuries of common law and more than two centuries of constitutional law that says: husband and wife are one (in this case) and therefore clearly this is the decision to be made by the husband.
TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR VIDEOTAPE


3 comments

I just wanted to disagree. The 'right' and 'decision' to terminate the woman's feeding tube is not granted. If she had expressed her wishes or signed a living will, the husband couldnt overide that. He does get preference in applications for gaurdianship though.
The decision to allow him to stop feeding was due to her prior expressed wishes which theoretically would have precluded her parents from keeping her alive indefinately, although it would have been tougher to prove.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/21/2005 11:50 AM  

Let's play hypothetical- suppose this happen in MA where the couple is gay. State law would recognize that and the spouse would have custody; changing the venue to federal court would make the marriage unrecognized, so then what happens? Or would the wingnuts not care because they'd rather just have gay people dead in the first place?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/21/2005 8:50 PM  

The decision to allow him to stop feeding was due to her prior expressed wishes which theoretically would have precluded her parents from keeping her alive indefinately, although it would have been tougher to prove.

There is a misconception here. Michael Schiavo requested a trial to determine what Terri Schiavo's wishes for her medical care in her current situation would be. The court determined (based on testimony from Michael and others) that Terri would not have wanted want medical intervention to the extent of being fed through a tube. The court ordered the feeding tube disconnected in concordance with Terri's expressed wishes.

This is not a decision allowing Michael Schiavo to stop feeding Terri Schiavo. It requires him, as her guardian, to do so.

By Anonymous JoXn Costello, at 3/22/2005 8:20 PM  

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