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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Snuffing Out Justice for Terri

It is truly sad to see this happen, but it looks like Terri Schiavo's family is out of judicial options.

What really disgusts me out of this whole thing was that, frankly, they were never given a chance in the first place. It was this horrible, disgusting lurch towards the repugnant idea that Michael Schiavo knew what was best for his wife (he clearly doesn't, and has a HUGE conflict of interest), and that Terri had a "right to die". Damn everything else, Terri Schiavo has a right to die! Forgive me for being rude, but what a load of crap. I can't believe that it didn't enter the judge's head, for a second, that Michael Schiavo was clawing a little too hard to remove Terri's feeding tube, considering what he stood to gain from her death. The judge in this case somehow believes that there was "clear and compelling" evidence that Michael's assertation that Terri didn't want to be kept alive by artificial means, when that "clear and compelling" evidence is hearsay! That's all it is - hearsay! Michael Schiavo is the only person contending that Terri doesn't want to be kept alive this way, and he's not exactly the most trustworthy source to go from. I'm just floored that a judge could be that blinkered in their way of thinking.

This decision comes after Michael Schiavo rejects a $1M offer to turn over Terri's care to her parents, effectively sealing the deal on Terri's fate. I can only hope the Florida state legislature can get another billed passed that will prevent Terri from being without that feeding tube for too long. I also really hope it survives judicial review this time, because I want to see Schiavo squirm for this. This is an abortion of justice, and I don't think people are going to stand around and watch this happen.

Wizbang gets another hat tip for the story. You can be sure that the entire country will be watching this one today. I'll probably be back later today to update again, hopefully with some good news.

You can also read more thoughts and links at Cao's Blog, Rightwing Nuthouse, and Cathouse Chat. (*These blogs have updated with further links and context*) I'll be sure to add more later on, as I'm sure many others will be weighing on this subject.

My prayers are with you, Terri.


Patriots for Bush has their own thoughts. The Anchoress reveals something I had not known before - Terri has never had an MRI or PET scan since her "fall", Michael has denied access to that particular avenue of research. Very fascinating, and not at all surprising considering the kind of care Michael has been providing. As such, the Crystal Clear blog and I are on the same page in our suspicions. WuzzaDem and the Captain's Quarters are also on the case, taking to this story with some serious verve, obliterating a lot of myths surrounding this entire story. Hugh Hewitt also weighs in (you will have to scroll down a little bit to find the bit, where he links to a National Review article that is, in a word, chilling).

The blogosphere is, as you can see, all over this story. The conventional wisdom is that, if Terri's Law II is not passed by the Florida State Senate (it made it past the House) and signed into law, Michael Schiavo should be forced to sit there and watch his wife die. I feel that isn't going far enough. I want Judge Greer in there too, I want them locked in, and I want them to have nothing but their thoughts about what they've done for company. Oh, and no food or water. If they're not driven completely mad about the abominable things they've done, then they're complete lost causes and should be put away like a rabid animal. I loathe those two with a passion that defies description. I know I'll be rooting for the people who actually know the law (the Florida state legislature) to win this time against this renegade judge and this despicable husband.

Here's hoping.

*UPDATE 2 - The feeding tube has not been removed, by order of Florida Circuit Court Judge David Demers, pending review of the case. I could buy this man lunch!*

Michelle Malkin finally, finally!, weighs in on the subject at her blog, linking to an NRO article and an AP report about Congressional efforts to stop Terri Schiavo's feeding tube from being removed, and to get to the bottom of this whole deal. What a relief.

*UPDATE 3 : The Better-Late-Than-Never Update*

As you are probably well-aware of now, the feeding tube ended up being removed after an appeal reaffirmed the original ruling. I am just updating this post to reflect that fact so that linkers to this post will have everything up to par.

Monday, March 14, 2005

We Gotta Find a Brand New Hero...

...because we can't count on the courts any more to uphold the law, or at least try not to be so nakedly obvious in their activism. Forgive the Reel Big Fish reference.

* * UPDATE - more thoughts, and a link, below the original post. * *

Judicial activism has run amok again, as the armada of activists seeking to circumvent the will of the people and the legislative branch continue carrying forward the gay marriage banner to its next destination, California.

A judge had ruled that California was unconstitutionally preventing gay couples from marrying each other in the state - a ruling that, if it does survive appeal, placing the most-populous state in this country behind Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed. The judge actually likened the ban to laws requiring segregation in schools, essentially repeating what activists had the unmitigated gall to say after the Massachusetts ruling. He goes on to say that he sees no rational purpose in denying marriage to gay couples.

Apparently, he thought what Hawaii did in 1993 was a good thing, when the court there ruled that gay marriage was legal in that state. The ensuing raft of states passing laws defining marriage as between a man and woman, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act, quickly proved that Hawaii's courts had overstepped its authority. Now we get the same go-round with Massachusetts and now California.

I mean, is it only obvious to me and a lot of other people that the court does not possess the power to make these grandstanding decisions from the bench, essentially writing laws that the legislature has no hand in doing? The obvious problem for these activists is that they can't make a cogent argument to a state legislature, so they try and turn a few judges to do the heavy lifting for them. I'm sure that if they devoted the energy and money that they put into these court cases into a campaign for laws to be changed in their state, they'd have much more favorable results. I mean, if someone wants something bad enough, they'd work hard to get it, right? Instead, they're creating their own PR nightmare by appearing to be weasels - people who can't persuade others to their side, so they get judges to do the work for them. It's lazy and sneaky work, and the courts should not tolerate and give their approval for it. Judges know that they're not supposed to be tools of a larger PR campaign, but this judge is essentially behaving that way.

Hat tip to Kevin Aylward of Wizbang for the story (who also notes how he essentially said this would happen a while ago, with a New York court's own recent decision).

* * * * * *
The Moderate Voice (who linked to this post when I first posted it) raises an interesting point that I hadn't thought of before - how is Governor Schwarzenegger going to publicly treat this ruling? He originally came out against gay marriage, but follows up later by saying something to the effect of him "following the will of the people" either way that they decide on the issue. Which raises an interesting conundrum: is he going to actively campaign for/against an amendment to the California constitution, or keep out of it. I suspect that he will stay out of this fracas, at least for the most part, because he's that canny of a politician. Taking a guess, he'd stay out of this because the prospect of his ultra-macho public persona would likely knock those on the fence about the issue into the Pro-Gay Marriage camp, just based on the more liberally-attuned public in the state. Or, frankly, it could knock them the other way - but its a lot less probable.

If the state legislature manages to pass the gay marriage ban amendments to their constitution, this may just put the issue well out of the hands of the pro-gay marriage legislators and the courts. Naturally, the legislature could very well reverse itself at a later date by passing a pro-gay marriage amendment, repealing the ban (assuming this actually does pass). Which brings me to what I said earlier - if the gay and lesbian activists had spent the time and effort into convincing the legislature and the public about the fairness of gay marriage, I don't think they'd have half the problems of public perception that they do now. I absolutely cannot stand the fact that the rights of the majority of citizens is being subverted here by someone who is sympathetic to a cause, but chooses to ignore the law and their duty. I'm still scratching my head over the judge in Massachusetts finding something in the state's constitution that would support gay marriage. Considering, you know, it was written by the most God-fearing people on Earh.

One of the oft-cited arguments for gay marriage is the rather high amount of divorce cases in the country. Can someone tell me how the divorce rates of straight couples has anything to with the marriage rights of gays and lesbians? I mean, what if their own rates turn into the same figures as straight couples? I submit, then, that the whole thing would be pointless. Before anyone even attempts to give me the line "Oh, well, it'll never happen with gay marriages!", thats the same thing people said about heterosexual marriage. Using divorce rates as a reason for supporting gay marriage is flimsy at best, a total non-sequitor at worst, and arrogant the entire way through. It is not the way to win people to your side.

This is an example of a PR campaign gone horribly, horribly awry. These activists are cheating everyone out of their fair say in the matter, and they make the moderate activists look like fools when they're the ones working harder for tolerance and acceptance. Subverting the rights of citizens and having the court shove this down their throats is absolutely unacceptable, and only succeeds in making moderate gays and lesbians look bad, or tacit supporters of cheating.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saving Lives are Officially "Out" for Judges

I was reading a story about Terri Schiavo, the woman who is in a partial coma-like state receiving national media attention, and the continued battle to save her life from her husband. A judge recently denied a Florida agency the chance to investigate over thirty (thirty!) allegations of abuse and neglect at the hands of Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo. The Florida Department of Children and Families had hoped to use the investigation as a way to delay Terri's execution by at least sixty days.

Yes, I say execution because this is clearly an example of a pig-headed judge gone amok. The court has no business at all interfering with the state's investigation into what could be very real allegations of abuse. The court doesn't even have the right to order her feeding tube removed like they did - they violate the very core principles on which this country was founded, the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The court takes away Terri's liberty by wilfully choosing to ignore the extremely suspicious circumstances that Michael Schiavo is suing under, instead sticking her "care" (or lack thereof, thanks to his interference) with the very man trying to let her starve to death. Can you say "conflict of interest"? The court takes away Terri's life by ordering her starvation death (something you wouldn't do to anyone in a sane, civilized world), and her ability to pursue happiness by letting Michael deny her treatment to improve her condition. It strikes me as remarkably obtuse that Michael Schiavo isn't out there fighting harder for Terri's recovery, when several sources say its very possible with the right treatment, unless he has some other motive. His "Terri wouldn't want to be kept alive by artificial means" is a crock in the face of the evidence - she wouldn't have to be if she was allowed the treatment.

Now there's recent news that an entrepeneur is attempting to buy out Michael Schiavo in an effort to get him to turn over Terri's care to her parents. The businessman, Robert Herring Sr., will pay Michael $1M in exchange for him surrendering guardianship rights to Terri's parents.

As much as this strikes me as nauseating (or, like the author in the link, "rancidly sick"), it would at least put Michael Schiavo in the un-enviable position of denying a huge amount of money to continue this sordid affair to its horrendous conclusion. What makes this all the more horrendous is the fact that, if Terri should still die even after transfer of guardianship, Michael still receives the $1.6M settlement he got for his own allegations of malpractice in regards to Terri's treatment. So he could stand to make $2.6M out of the entire deal. I, personally, would tack on a restraining order to make sure he doesn't come within 900 feet of Terri Schiavo, her parents, or the medical staff treating Terri, just to make sure the son of a bitch doesn't try anything.

Michelle Malkin has a raft of links and posts on her own blog.