Down to the wire

kennedy.jpgIf the Supreme Court refuses to touch this morning’s 2-1 ruling from a three-judge panel, Terri Schiavo likely will die of thirst by week’s end. The New York Daily News reports that the subject of so much litigation is “fading fast.”

Two of the three judges wrote that Terri’s parents had “failed to demonstrate a substantial case” for restoring the feeding tube so that they can get on with a determination on a number of legal issues.

Dissenting justice Charles R. Wilson charged foul. He said it was clear that Congress had intended for the case to be given another shot. His point is fairly evident from the text of the bill. Congress authorized Terri’s parents to bring suit, then it added:

In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. The District Court shall entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.

I’m not a lawyer, but I believe the relevant term there was de novo. The dictionary explains that the term is “Latin for ‘anew,’ which means starting over, as in a trial de novo. For example, a decision in a small claims case may be appealed to a local trial court, which may try the case again, de novo.”

In other words, Congress tried to hand the case over to the federal courts and the federal courts so far have said “No thanks.” The case will now go the Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. He can choose to take up the case or query the other justices on where to go from here.

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  • Cathy

    Get the facts… Here is a link to a web site that has the facts…
    Please read it!

  • omnyphile

    I think Congress meant for an appeal de novo, which would permit the Federal District Court to review the record from the state trial court and decide the matter without any deference to the state court’s original decision.

    So, in effect, it is a do over for the case. Congress’ hope was that the case would hit a sympathetic and clever judge who would find a way to do the right thing.

  • Brant

    I’m trying to find out where the religious left is on this issue. No mention on websites like Sojourners, and I can’t find any media accounts with statements from familiar spokes-folks.

    Anyone seen anything? Certainly curious where they come down on the enforced-dehydrating-to-death issue, in light of “I was thirsty…” in Mtw 25.

  • Stephen A.

    The MSM has slanted the issue of Terri Schaivo from the start, but here’s more evidence:

    Below are the two poll questions ABC News used to manufacture opinion on Congress’ action late last week to get the issue into the Federal courts.

    Note the words “life support” which is a blatant lie. Note that the phrase “doctors say” is not mitigated by dissenting opinion, making it seem as if this is a unanimous verdict of the entire medical field, and ignores the family who say she has at least some conscious responses to their presence.

    Here are the questions:

    “As you may know, a woman in Florida named Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her parents and her husband disagree on whether or not she should be kept on life support. In cases like this who do you think should have final say, (the parents) or (the spouse)?”

    A follow-up question:
    “If you were in this condition, would you want to be kept alive, or not?”

    As Michelle Malkin said in a column on this “push poll” for euthanasia, “Is it any wonder the credibility of the MSM is withering on the vine?”

    Also, if Malkin is correct in quoting a nurse who cared for Terri Schiavo as saying Michael Schiavo OFTEN said things like ‘When is she going to die?’ ‘Has she died yet?’ and ‘When is that bitch gonna die?’ then I think that’s significant as to his state of mind, and he deserves NO rights in this matter.

  • Douglas LeBlanc

    Cathy, I hope you’ve considered the possibility that many of us are well aware of the facts but still believe that Terri Schiavo should not be starved and dehydrated until she dies.

    There are many blogs out there on both sides of this debate, and that’s a good thing.

  • Cathy

    So what are you saying go to a blog that is on the other side. I beleiving in doing the right thing. And having seen this senario first hand a feeding tube is as bad as straving just much slower… and I will say it again anyone in there right mind would not put there loved ones through this…

  • Douglas LeBlanc

    I’m not saying anyone has to go to another blog — though I know many other blogs are writing about the Schiavo case far more frequently than we are.

    I’m saying many people disagree with you while knowing the relevant facts of the case, just as many people disagree with Terry Schiavo’s parents while knowing the relevant facts of the case. This debate has a great deal to do with how people interpret those facts.

  • Cathy

    So I guess you are saying that this is not a discussionÂ…. It is a sermonÂ….just like the rest of the country we are going to fall into the trap of theocracy?
    There has been no coverage here and very little else ware of the chilling deaths of the students on the reservation, I am sure there are religious ghosts in the MSM reports on that incident, but we as a country would rather focus on a very private mater then a very public issue like how we treat minorities and the poor. I am tired on coming into the comments on this site and seeing sermons in place of discussion. And you are wrong people do not no the facts, I didnÂ’t know the facts until I went searching for them. And since I have found the facts of this case I see how very little the media talks about the facts and how even less they get them correct.
    I went to catholic school and I probably have more religion classes then some of these so called experts out there and believe me the Good Lord gave us brains to use them to think and not just make radical claims that you can even compare this case to the woman who killed her children in texas, or the Nazi concentration camps, or the Fundamentalist Mormons claim that pluralist marriage is a god given rightÂ… Human Brains, given to us by God, can make the distinctions between right and wrong, what people need is to learn discernment, but from this public fervor people have no chance to learn discernment. What they are doing to Terri in the public eye is just plain wrong, using a person as a puppet to trumpet your cause is just plain wrong.

  • Stephen A.

    Cathy, where on earth do you live where they haven’t covered the Minnesota school shooting?

    It’s been all over the cable news networks. While it’s more of a story about yet another deeply disturbed kid who was fascinated by Nazis (although this is an odd case, since the kid was non-white) there is some religious coverage on this.

    Here’s a very good article on how Christians and those practicing native religions on the reservation came together to pray recently at a local Catholic church:

    Of course I wonder about the wisdom of a tradional native “smudging” ceremony being allowed to take place on a Catholic altar, but that’s for the local bishop to sort out.

  • Blithering Idiot


    Your summary is accurate. In my opinion the majority opinion was sloppy, but defensible. (I’m really bugged by the first footnote, which is totally dishonest.)

    Anyway, keep up the good work,

    william p. sulik