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March 31, 2005

Terri is dead

Topics: General

After 14 days of torture, Terri Shindler-Schiavo finally succumbed to her court ordered execution by dehydration and starvation this morning.

The judicial branch of our government ordered an innocent disabled citizen to be summarily executed in the most horrendous manner.

Terri held on as long as she could. Many people who had the power to end her torture and save her life were given repeated opportunities do so. They turned down all opportunities. I think this is significant. Many judges in Florida and Atlanta, as well as on the US Supreme Court have blood on their hands.

Quite a few legislators in Florida also have Terri's death on their conscience. They may appear to be moving on, but they carry this crime with them.

Every single police officer who guarded the Woodside Hospice is tainted. These are the people who faithfully guarded Terri's room and searched her family to make sure they didn't smuggle in any water or food for Terri. These are the people who arrested the protestors who attempted to walk into the Hospice carrying water to offer to Terri. I wonder how they go home to their families every day. I wonder how they even sleep at night.

People at the Woodside Hospice are also implicated in Terri's death. After all, they were the ones who actually carried out the procedures that lead to Terri's death.

The US Congress made the most valiant effort to save Terri, in my opinion. Still, I think the presence of people in the Congress who wanted Terri dead may have hindered the emergency bill passed on Palm Sunday from truly being effective. They all know who they are, and they too have blood on their hands.

There has been much debate over whether or not the Bush brothers ought to have intervened despite the court orders and despite what the procedures were. I don't have a real answer to that question. When Jeb Bush attempted to send in the DCF to take custody of Terri last Wednesday, Judge Greer was tipped off and he responded by issuing a broad restraining order, which the police force of Pinellas Park pledged to uphold. Any further action on Jeb Bush's part could have lead to a showdown at the hospice leading to violence. I can understand why he backed down, but I can't say I respect that decision. Both a governor and a president take an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution prominently states that all people have an inaleable right to life. Terri's inaleable right to life was not upheld by either her governor or her president. In that respect, neither Jeb Bush, nor George Bush fully lived up to their oaths to uphold the Constitution. In the end, they too allowed Terri to die.

Although I tried to save Terri's life by calling on the people who had any real authority to use it, in the end she still died. Should I have done more? What do I do now? Am I in some way responsible for her death as well? I mean, how did we get to this point as a nation, where our government can order the death of an innocent citizen? What do ordinary citizens like Terri's parents do when evil people are in power? What does your voice matter when activist judges can flip off Congress, the governor and the president?

Terri Schiavo is dead, killed by court order. In America. This is only the beginning of something truly awful.

We can't bring Terri back. But for the sake of our children we must fight this "something truly awful" the forces of the Culture of Death are hoping to usher in with her death. Please do not give up this fight. Take the time to mourn. Then find your place in this war and fight for all you're worth.

Cross-posted at Powers That Blog.

Posted by powersthatblog at March 31, 2005 3:06 PM


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Comments

Our country has stooped to a new low in murdering Terri Schiavo! We give animals and plants food and water. Criminals are given these things but we denied this poor woman these same rights. This is Hitlerism! Shame on the judges and politicians and lawyers that voted for this will never get my vote ever! Heaven has a new angel! Goodbye Terri! I will never forget you!

Posted by: carolb at March 31, 2005 3:24 PM

Believe me, those responsible for killing Terri don't have guilt on their minds - as much as we like to think that's the case. :(

Posted by: ticklebug at March 31, 2005 3:25 PM

The Nation's Top Wife Beater, and that is the most charitable thing you can say about Michael Schiavo right now, gets HIS WISH, not Terri's, fulfilled. Now how can we prosecute anybody for doing this to a disabled spouse, or other relative, in their own home if all they have to do is present hearsay testimony about fulfilling the person's "wishes." Prior to this, anybody treating a disabled relative like this in their own home would be rightly charged criminally for such neglect and outright abuse. But what about now, especially in Florida or other states? I don't think we'll see anything like that often, as I believe most people seeking to do something like this will seek the cover of medical legitimacy by having a medical institution collaborate with them in killing off their unwanted relative. We've just witnessed the culmination of an obscene case of spousal abuse.

Posted by: Rick J. G. at March 31, 2005 3:31 PM

Something is wrong with our justice system when life and death decisions can be based on hearsay evidence but other legal matters must be in writing to be enforced in a court of law.


Something is wrong with our justice system when a teenager must have parental consent to get body piercing but can get an abortion with no questions asked.


Something is wrong with our justice system when a married man starts a second family (including two innocent children) yet still controls all life and death decisions for his brain damaged, but legal, wife.


Something is wrong with our justice system when parents are denied any say in life and death decisions of their children just because an estranged spouse chose not to get a divorce. I wonder what the sentiments would have been if it had been Laci Peterson who became brain damaged at the hands of her husband rather than murdered. Would Scott have been given the same controls over Laci's life that Michael had over Terri's life? Think about it.


Something is wrong with our justice system when a convicted killer, like Scott Peterson, has more rights (automatic appeal of death sentence) than a brain damaged woman sentenced to die from starvation and lack of water simply because she could not feed herself.


And something is terribly wrong when Judges begin MAKING law rather than Enforcing it. Where did the separations of powers go?


Latest news flash....Terri's brother was not allowed to enter the room just before she died.


Something is seriously wrong with our justice system when family members are prohibited from being with a loved one at their time of death.


What selfish, mean-spirited, evil men Michael and Mr. Felos are. I am soooo sick and tired of hearing Mr. Felos blame the "court" for the actions of his client..."There was a court order...blah blah blah"... who the hell asked to court to enforce those actions, anyway, Mr. Felos? Sure as hell not the Shindler family.


Shame on you, Michael, and shame on you Mr. Felos for your indifference to the Shindler family. My heart aches for Terri's family for being banned from her bedside. There is NO excuse for this behavior other than pure old evil, venom, and no conscience on Michael's part. Yeah, he had the control and he made sure HIS wishes were followed. I do not believe Terri would have wanted her "husband" to treat her family the way he did.


Well, Michael, your wishes have been granted. May you live with those decisions everyday for the rest of your life.


And Michael, here's hoping that, should you decide to make your current situation legal, your new wife will have the same pity on you should you ever end up in the situation Terri was in.


Rest in peace, Terri, and know that you life was important and has made a difference to many people you never knew.

Posted by: nitarsmith at March 31, 2005 3:43 PM

"Both a governor and a president take an oath to uphold the Constitution."

That Constitution also creates an appointed, not publically elected, federal judiciary branch. By removing the courts from electoral politics, the courts can make unpopular decisions without fear of repercussions. While you may not agree with their action in this case, this power is the same one used to, for example, strike down segregationist laws.

The President pledged to uphold that power of the Court.

"how did we get to this point as a nation, where our government can order the death of an innocent citizen?"

The government *allowed* this death. The government did not *order* this death.

"What do ordinary citizens like Terri's parents do when evil people are in power?"

Vote. Educate. Donate to charities.

"What does your voice matter when activist judges can flip off Congress, the governor and the president?"

The Founding Fathers intended for the judiciary to exercise that type of power.

Keep in mind that if, for example, a state judge is *not* elected (and I believe in Florida, they are elected), then the executive branch appointed them, and the legislature confirmed these nominees. Your vote impacts those branches.

And, lest we forget, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who rejected the appeal, was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 31, 2005 3:45 PM

My fear is that not only have "we just witnessed the culmination of an obscene case of spousal abuse", but that after witnessing this horrible crime there will be no cry for retribution! There are those who are claiming that they will hold some people responsible. I just don't trust any of them anymore!

Posted by: imdll at March 31, 2005 3:46 PM

I would like to suggest that in honor of Terri, we refer to her as Terri Schindler, not Terri Schaivo. As far as I am concerned that scumbag gave up his title as her husband long ago, and he does not deserve the honor of having her associated with his name.

Posted by: JIHC at March 31, 2005 3:49 PM

Just to clarify:
"And something is terribly wrong when Judges begin MAKING law rather than Enforcing it. Where did the separations of powers go?"

The executive branch, in this case the Bush brothers, *enforce* the law. The legislature *makes* the law. The judges *interpret* the law.

If a law is being ignored (such as the Fourteenth Amendment), then the President should have acted to enforce it. If a law should exist (or should be better worded, or should be updated, etc.), then the legislature should be held accountable.

The judges are *bound* by the law. They cannot make a law where there is not one. They cannot force anyone to comply with their decisions.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 31, 2005 3:55 PM

troll alert: Saneinny

We only throw around conjecture and half-truths here, not rationality.

Posted by: Matthew6:5 at March 31, 2005 4:11 PM

It says in a book I read once:

Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.

I believe Him.

Posted by: Right;) at March 31, 2005 5:07 PM

This is far from being over. Michael Schiavo himself has put this country in great shame across this country and over the ocean to other country's. This man is pure evil, just plain evil.

Posted by: delphinius at March 31, 2005 5:09 PM

And I am getting sick and tired of listening to MS and his attorney on the news also, his attorney is just eating up the limelight right now and it is sickening. He keeps bad mouthing Terri's family! Kick the dog while its down.. what a creep!

Posted by: delphinius at March 31, 2005 5:15 PM

I couldn't believe my ears when mr. felos told a reporter that having artificial means of eating (feeding tube)removed did not mean a person was starving or dying from starvation! Does he think we are totally STUPID??

Posted by: ep4life at March 31, 2005 6:04 PM

JIHC... "I would like to suggest that in honor of Terri, we refer to her as Terri Schindler, not Terri Schaivo." I agree and actually started doing that earlier today. I did it without even thinking. She is Terri Schindler....

Posted by: SoCalAngel at March 31, 2005 6:09 PM

A Long, Long, Time Ago
I can still remember how the Country used to make me smile.
And I knew that if I had the chance,
I’d defeat the enemy’s advance
And all would be quite peaceful—for a while

But darkness came, and made me shiver
Death with “dignity” the courts deliver
Bad news on the doorstep...
I couldn’t take one more step

I know for sure I cried and cried
As I watched the innocent girl die
And something touched me deep inside
The day Miss Terri died

I started Praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day—she must die.

Verse 2:

Now did you write the book of Law
And do you believe in God at all
If the Bible tells you so?

Do you believe the laws of greer?
You may speak, but he won’t hear...
And can you show me how to DIE real SLOW...

Well, I know you’re in cahoots with him
‘His money bought your mortal sin
So hang your heads in shame
You won your murder game
And I knew she was out of luck
The day greer’s ethics died.

I started praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day she must die.

Verse 3:

For 15 years she’s been on her own
And the lies grow fat on mike’s rolling stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the founders freed us from the King and Queen
They never thought that death would mean
Starving of the poor and un-worthy

Oh and while the prez was looking down
“Justice” stole the exec’s crown

The courtroom was adjourned
Death’s verdict was returned.

And while greer designed the perfect race
The justice fell in black disgrace
And we said prayers at that place
The day Miss Terri died

We started praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day—she must die.

Verse 4:

Helter Skelter, in this horrid swelter
greer flew off with the fallout shelter
13 days and fading fast
The courts have fallen on their ass
Her parents begged for HUMANE repass
With congress on the sidelines in a cast

Now death was present in her room
While policemen played a marching tune
No water at greer’s dance
Terri never had a chance

‘None one could bring water or bread
The courts insisted, “SHE IS DEAD”
Do you recall what was justice said,
The day Miss Terri died?

We started praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day—she must die.

Verse 5:

And there we were all in one place
A nation fallen in disgrace
With no time left to start again

Well mike was nimble, greer was law
Terri was their simple pawn
'Cause money is this judge’s only friend

And as I watched him on his stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break greer’s evil spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day Miss Terri died

We started praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day—she must die.

Verse 6:

I met a girl from the USA
And I asked her please to pray, pray, pray
But she just smiled and turned away

I went down to the sacred land
Where I'd heard of justice on demand
But the man there said that justice went away
And in the streets the children screamed
The people cried over broken dreams

But not a word was spoken
The nation’s soul was broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father Son and Holy Ghost
They joined with Terri on Florida’s Coast

The day Miss Terri died


And we were praying...

Bye, Bye Miss Shiavo must die
Said the judges serving justice—but the justice was dry
And good ol greer was drinkin michael’s big lie
Singing this will be the day—she must die. This will be the day—she must die.

Posted by: Tress at March 31, 2005 6:42 PM

I'm sad.

Posted by: yanase at March 31, 2005 7:27 PM

I'm sad.

Posted by: yanase at March 31, 2005 7:27 PM

Who killed Terri Schiavo?

"Not I," said her husband. "I was only carrying out her wishes."

"Not I," said her husband's lawyer. "I was just doing my job."

"Not I," said the probate judge. "I was just following the law."

"Not I," said the Governor. "I don't have the power to save her, even if I am the supreme executive of the State of Florida under the Florida Constitution, and expressly empowered to protect the rights of all Florida citizens. That's just not enough."

"Not I," said our nation's chief executive. "I've done everything I can do. Who do you think I am, the President of the United States or something?"

"Not I," said the Congress. "After all, didn't we come back from vacation to pass a law?"

"Not I," said the federal judges. "We know a hot potato when we see one. No mere Act of Congress can force us to take action!"

"Not I," said the pastors and religious leaders who passed by without a word.

"Not I," said the doctors, the sheriff's police, the nurses and the hospital attendants. "We were just following orders."

"Not I," said Terri Schiavo. "I wanted to live."

Posted by: J. at March 31, 2005 11:00 PM

Anonymous,

With our modern technology, we don't really need human beings to be judges. We can just hire legal "consultants" and write computer programs that will spit out decisions. IF the judge finds something based purely on existing law. It can e written as a function:

Ruling = (Plaintiff's arguments + Defendant's arguments + witness statements under examination and cross-examination + relevant laws + previous relevant cases)

Things would get done a lot faster too.


While I'm at it, if the judges rule so perfectly in the law, answer this (which I posted elsewhere)...

Terri was a Catholic. I'd suggest you review the First Amendment of the Constitution. Specifically, "Congress shall make no law....prohibiting the free practice of religion." We know that where state law conflicts with the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Constitution takes precedence. As a Catholic, Terri was entitled to DAILY reception of Holy Communion. She last received Holy Communion on Easter Sunday. In the intervening days between Easter Sunday and her death, she was not allowed to receive Holy Communion. If Michael denied this, he needed to have a basis in law. Greer has said he rules based on the law. He denied Terri oral access to food and water (he claims the law allows this). However, Holy Communion must be received via the mouth. Receiving Holy Communion is practicing one's religion. Thus, Greer could not order that Michael be allowed to deny Terri the right to Holy Communion as allowed by the Holy Catholic Church if he is just "interpreting the law." Yet somehow, Michael was allowed to do this. In fact, on Easter, she was originally DENIED Holy Communion. At some point during the day, Michael relented. If he was allowed (I contend he was NOT allowed based on the First Amendment) within law to deny this, why did he later relent? Furthermore, allegedly the hospice priest had to hold the hand of the Monsignor who has been ministering to Terri for years when he gave her Holy Communion. Allegedly this was based on a court order. Again, "free practice of religion" was violated in my opinion. Terri SHOULD have been able to receive Holy Communion from the Monsignor with whom she was familiar. The Monsignor did not need help administering the Sacrament. I've also heard that outside of Easter, the Monsignor was told by the police that he would be arrested for administering Holy Communion to Terri (again, this is based on what I've heard). If true, this is a violation of the First Amendment. So tell me about separation, and what a perfect system we supposedly have, etc. If they ignore the Constitution (in my opinion) on this matter, what else might they ignore?

Posted by: cw at April 1, 2005 12:44 AM

On learning here in Australia of the tragic murder of Terri Schiavo on 31 March, 2005 I wrote to Governor Bush in the following terms ...


----------------------------------------------

Governor Bush,

With the grisly torture that has now ended in the murder of Terri Schiavo, you have betrayed your office as the chief of the Executive of your State who could have acted with all those powers that you enjoy in that high office.

It appears that you have long offered a pretence, when it suited you for political purposes just like President George W. Bush, that you were really a defender of innocent life.

Perhaps there is nobody more than you that is responsible for the murder of Terri - yes, I say murder, since in your country and mine that crime can be committed by neglect and omission in certain circumstances. In my opinion, the circumstances exist in this case. You are as guilty, or more so, than the dreadful judicial officers that plague your courts at all levels and the horrible medical people who disgrace their profession. And more so than the homicidal adulterous maniac who was so bold to pretend to be Terri's loving husband and guardian.

You disgust me, because unlike the open opponents of Terri Schiavo, who cried out for her killing, you pretended to be somebody you are surely not. You are no statesman but a grimy politician; you are no gentleman but the worst kind of cur; you are not a man of courage, who should have faced whatever you had to face by acting to save an innocent member of the community that you govern, but a lousy coward.

You will enter history with this reputation.

I suspect that pretending to believe in God, and pretending to obey His Word, are common ploys of many US politicians to maximize their votes. I don't know what your position is and whether you really are a God-fearing man. If you are, you should know that you have prepared a road straight to Hell for yourself. Read the Gospel: " I was thirsty ... hungry ... and you gave me nothing to drink ... eat ... ". If you do not repent, if you die unrepentant of this dreadful crime, you will surely go there!

In any decent civilized Christian State, you would be impeached and removed from office. Your State and Country are none of those things, of course. You should resign and, holding your head low to the ground, go off and do penance for the rest of your life, begging God to forgive you. You have failed an innocent human being who was entitled to your protection and you have failed yourself and your office. You have brought disgrace upon yourself and your family, and your nation in the eyes of civilized people all around the world.

I pray today, not only for the repose of the soul of Terri Schiavo, but for you and all your murderous associates in government - executive, legislature, and the judiciary - and the wicked lawyers and medical 'professionals' who make a living out of homicide.

One is not so naive to imagine that this type of murder is an isolated case. I understand that it has occurred thousands of times for many years both in your country and mine - as you would perhaps know. The difference this time is that your nation very publicly stood by, with some people fiddling about uselessly in a morally corrupt legislative and judicial system, and watched a poor innocent woman cruelly tortured to death for 14 days without lifting a finger of executive action. What must Terri have thought of you in the last few days? You were her last hope and you abandoned her. Now, more like her will be openly done away with in this cruel fashion, and those who do it will gain a certain boldness in the knowledge that you did not save her.

May God have mercy on your soul!

Paul A Brazier
Barrister-at-Law
Sydney
AUSTRALIA

Posted by: AussiPaul at April 1, 2005 3:39 AM

"With our modern technology, we don't really need human beings to be judges."

I very much beg to differ. Many judges seek to dispense justice, mercy, and compassion. Other judges seek election on being "tough on crime." While you may prefer a particular kind of justice, reasonable people can certainly differ on any decision.


"Ruling = (Plaintiff's arguments + Defendant's arguments + witness statements under examination and cross-examination + relevant laws + previous relevant cases)"

You can subtract out the witnesses' statements, because those often (usually?) involve assessments (often by jury) regarding the witnesses credibility. At one level, of course, your suggestion is absolutely true: you summed up the legal process well. On the other hand, you're overlooking one of the best reasons we have for our lawyers and our adversarial system: challenging cases don't have a clearly applicable law with clearly applicable prior cases.

One of the best arguments in favor of supporting Terri was the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee to life. In contrast, one of the better arguments for protecting the governmental processes involved is the separation of powers. While this latter position has the very unfortunate side effect of allowing a life to expire, it *does not* argue the Fourteenth Amendment.

An attorney's role is to advocate for her client. A judge's role is to balance the competing interests at stake. In some cases, the Fourteenth Amendment will trump the Separation of Powers. In this case, it did not. No computer program is capable of balancing such distinctly human ideals. (How would a computer possibly understand what's at stake in Terri's case?)


"I'd suggest you review the First Amendment of the Constitution."

I think my Con Law knowledge is pretty good, but thanks.


"If Michael denied this, he needed to have a basis in law."

I don't know that he did. The First Amendment (and its application through the Fourteenth) only protect against government action. Michael is a private individual.

The response, of course, is that by *allowing* Michael to act as a private individual, the state *sanctions* such action. Thus, in a judge's state office, he acts on behalf of the state. However, this is a very sensitive area. Accordingly, it's probably not an argument one wants to advance in this case.


"He denied Terri oral access to food and water (he claims the law allows this)."

Most states do not punish omissions.


"why did he later relent?"

*shrug* Maybe he's not *quite* as inhuman as some would like us to believe.


"tell me about separation, and what a perfect system we supposedly have, etc."

We have a great system.

We have some absolutely tremendous successes, particularly in the area of civil rights. We have some highly contentious actions, such as our legal system finding John Hinckley *not* responsible for his assassination attempt on then-President Reagan, as well as the Schiavo case. It really speaks to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers that our legal system can effect such massive change *without* fear of the populace.


"If they ignore the Constitution (in my opinion) on this matter, what else might they ignore?"

They didn't ignore the Constitution. I think your First Amendment argument is rather novel, and I credit you with that. As a supporter of First Amendment rights, I tend to err on the side of the First. In fact, if I were programming your judicial computer, I would probably place a great deal of importance on that right (as opposed to, say, the Second Amendment and its qualification).

However, in this case, the separation of powers (as well as other rights, such as the right to privacy) was found to trump the First Amendment argument. One argument in support of that decision would be that the separation of powers is a more fundamental right than even the First Amendment. Without a separation of powers (e.g., only the *exceutive* branch may enforce the laws), the First Amendment could not even be upheld.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 1, 2005 10:02 AM

> Many judges seek to dispense justice, mercy,
> and compassion.
In my opinion, Greer is clearly not an example of one dispensing mercy and compassion. Ordering a family not to be able to orally introduce food or water into the mouth of a dying daughter is neither merciful or compassionate. Causing children to be arrested is neither merciful nor compassionate. There are nurses who have stated that she could swallow. This hearkens back to NAZI Germany in my opinion. We will soon mark the 60th anniversary of V-E day, when Hitler's evil, maniacal regime was finally destroyed. In my opinion, one of the most evil elements of that despicable regime was resurrected during the last two weeks.

> Other judges seek election on being "tough
I believe Greer is not running for reelection. But, when his order resulted in the arrest of CHILDREN in the United States of America, in my opinion he could easily campaign on being "tough."

> While you may prefer a particular kind of
> justice, reasonable people can certainly differ
> on any decision.
In my opinion, that is moral relativism. Justice is supposed to be blind. We are supposed to have 'equal justice under the law'. Not "what some may prefer or others may not prefer." A woman's life was at stake here. It should not just be passed off as a "preference" thing. This isn't an issue of arguing over where the boundary between two landowners' properties lies or anything else clearly of lesser importance than an innocent woman's life.

> In contrast, one of the better arguments for
> protecting the governmental processes involved
> is the separation of powers.
Yes, tell me about the "separation of powers." Where precisely is that in the Constitution? Here is the Constitution:

http://www.usconstitution.com/Read.htm#we%20preamble

Tell me the article or amendment that references "separation of powers." Oh and while you're doing that, tell me the amendment that gives a woman the right to kill her child via abortion.

> In some cases, the Fourteenth Amendment will
> trump the Separation of Powers. In this case,
> it did not.
The interesting part is that the Fourteenth Amendment exists. The phrase "separation of powers" does not exist in the Constitution. Interesting how a phrase not mentioned in the Constitution trumps a real amendment. Or, perhaps that's just a "preference" issue?

> (How would a computer possibly understand
> what's at stake in Terri's case?)
Thank you. Precisely. But if we are to listen to the excuses to justify the optional death of Terri Schiavo based on what some people (her husband and HIS family members) claim she said, we MAY AS WELL have had a computer (which has no consideration for innocent human life) dispensing justice. The excuse was "this is what the law says." A computer program could have rendered those responses instantly. These judges had to take hours while everyone hoped and prayed they would give Terri a chance. They refused. (One of the judges was alleged to have told everyone including the family to "get something to eat" - while their innocent daughter was being starved by court order. At least a computer wouldn't say that!) Again, if all of this is based merely on what the law allegedly says, a computer could have rendered the decision faster.

> The First Amendment (and its application
> through the Fourteenth)
The First Amendment can be applied separately. It was written long before the Fourteenth. It does not depend on the Fourteenth.

> only protect against
> government action. Michael is a private
> individual.
Michael could only deny food and water (having a police officer in the room, which in my opinion is humiliating to the family, a violation of their privacy, and a waste of taxpayer dollars) to Terri because Greer (a member of the judicial branch of GOVERNMENT) issued a court order requiring it.

> Thus, in a judge's state office, he acts on
> behalf of the state. However, this is a very
> sensitive area.
Again, an excuse for the court-ordered starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo has been "this is what the law says." That is not a 'sensitive area.' The U.S. Constitution trumps all other secular laws in the United States. Here is the text of the First Amendment (emphasis mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Where there is conflict between a law and the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Constitution takes precedence. The Constitution states that Congress shall make no law .... prohibiting the free exercise thereof (in relation to religion). If the court order to starve and dehydrate Terri Schiavo is based on the law, it must meet the requirement that such a decision is NOT unconstitutional. According to the First Amendment, no law may prohibit the free exercise of religion. Therefore, if a ruling is truly based on the law, a ruling may not allow anyone to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Catholics are entitled to daily reception of Holy Communion (obviously, they must be in a State of Grace, but since Terri had Last Rites, she was in a State of Grace - regardless, that issue has no bearing on the secular U.S. Constitution).

> Accordingly, it's probably not an argument one
> wants to advance in this case.
Why not? The words I quoted in the First Amendment exist. It's my opinion. And I intend to continue to bring it up. Are you suggesting that some of the rights provided by the U.S. Constitution are negotiable when it comes to an innocent human being who has not committed a crime?

> "He denied Terri oral access to food and water
>(he claims the law allows this)."
>
> Most states do not punish omissions.
Please review ADA Cf 28 CFR, Ch 1, Subpart B, Sect 35.130

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg3a.html

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg2.html

> *shrug* Maybe he's not *quite* as inhuman as
> some would like us to believe.
My opinion, of course, but had he continued with his denial on Easter Sunday, when she was still capable of recovering if the tube was reconnected, this could have been a reason for either Governor Bush or President Bush to intervene. Had Easter Sunday gone by without Terri receiving Holy Communion, the outcry of complaints would have been loud. It is not as well known about one's right to daily reception of Holy Communion and as such, the outcry of complaints were few.

> We have a great system.
A great system does not empower someone (in my opinion) to deny an individual the right to practice her religion. Again, a Catholic has a right to daily reception of the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For a Catholic, this is free practice of religion.

In fact, the hospice priest stated on Easter Sunday that he could not administer even a fleck of the Precious Body of Jesus Christ because Terri's tongue was dry. How did her tongue become dry? It became dry due to a court ordered dehydration. Under ordinary circumstances, one receives the Precious Body of Jesus Christ FIRST and may or may not receive the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Some churches do not offer the opportunity to receive the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ during certain Masses. But the Precious Body of Jesus Christ is ALWAYS offered. Since the drying of the tongue was completely avoidable (except for a court order that caused it), I would argue (my opinion) that the entire court-ordered dehydration is a denial of religious rights. At the Last Supper, Jesus said "Take This all of you and eat It. This is My Body, which will be given up for you." Terri was not afforded the opportunity to receive the Precious Body of Jesus Christ due to court-ordered dehydration. She did NOT have to be in that position.

> We have some highly contentious actions,
Beyond the two you stated, let's add Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade. These are two examples of the court denying humanity to a group of people so they could be freely violated by another group of people. Since society recognizes the sheer evil of Dred Scott, it is obvious the court system is capable of backing atrocities. If they did it once, it is my opinion that they are capable of repeating it.

> They didn't ignore the Constitution.
A justification to starve and dehydrate Terri Schiavo by court order was that it was based on law. The highest law in the land says that the free practice of religion shall not be prohibited. God designed Holy Communion to be received via the mouth. (It is not food and drink like normal food; It is Spiritual Food to nourish the soul. It is a religious matter and the Constitution says the free practice of religion shall not e prohibited.) Michael was evidently given the ability to deny daily Holy Communion to Terri (otherwise, Felos would have advised him to stand down) by court order.

It should be noted that Blessed Anne Catherine Emerich survived for years on Holy Communion alone.

> I would probably place a great deal of
> importance on that right (as opposed to, say,
> the Second Amendment and its qualification).
Where in the Constitution does it say that some amendments should be enforced moreso than others? If you would program a judicial computer according to the law, why would you pick and choose which amendments to uphold more strongly than others?

> However, in this case, the separation of powers
Tell me the article or amendment where this exists.

> (as well as other rights, such as the right to
> privacy)
Tell me the article or amendment where this exists. Tell me where the word "privacy" is even present in the Constitution. Protection against unlawful search and seizure (Fourth Amendment) is not the same as an all-encompassing right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment is to prevent the government from searching or removing people's property willy nilly. A search warrant for reasonable cause must be obtained first. If there is reasonable cause of the law being violated, then the government may request a search warrant. If they are successful at obtaining said search warrant, they may then enter and search or seize property. The Fourth Amendment does not allow women to kill children. In places where sodomy was a violation of the law (prior to a majority of justices of the supreme court declaring a "right to sodomy"), it does not allow that law to be violated. It does not allow a court to order the starvation and dehydration of an innocent human being merely because her husband (who was living with another woman and had children by her) and his side of the family claims she said something. Mysteriously, Terri never told her own family about this. Some of her friends said on television that she would not have wanted this. In my opinion, if she was so concerned about wanting to die in this manner, she would have told more than just her husband and his side of the family. In my opinion, her husband should have mentioned it much sooner than he did. Because he didn't and because only HIS side of the family seems to remember it, I will personally never accept it as truthful. But that is just MY opinion.

> the separation of powers is a more fundamental
> right than even the First Amendment.
Again, where is this alleged "right" presented in the Constitution? We know the First Amendment exists.

> Without a separation of powers (e.g., only the *exceutive* branch may
> enforce the laws), the First Amendment could not even be upheld.
"Separation of powers" is something that has been used to justify the court-ordered starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo. In my opinion, by denying Terri daily Holy Communion (her right as a Catholic), the First Amendment was NOT upheld.

Posted by: cw at April 2, 2005 12:41 AM