March 26, 2005


Something to keep in mind about the Schiavo case is that once the facts are established in a trial court, an appeals court usually has to stick with them. So if the Schindlers have lost their all their appeals it doesn't mean that justice has been done.

From Steve Sailor's blog, via Orrin Judd:

A Florida lawyer writes:
I have been following the case for years. Something that interests me about the Terri Schiavo case, and that doesn't seem to have gotten much media attention: The whole case rests on the fact that the Schindlers (Terri's parents) were totally outlawyered by the husband (Michael Schiavo) at the trial court level.

This happened because, in addition to getting a $750K judgment for Terri's medical care, Michael Schiavo individually got a $300K award of damages for loss of consortium, which gave him the money to hire a top-notch lawyer to represent him on the right-to-die claim. He hired George Felos, who specializes in this area and litigated one of the landmark right-to-die cases in Florida in the early 90s.

By contrast, the Schindlers had trouble even finding a lawyer who would take their case since there was no money in it. Finally they found an inexperienced lawyer who agreed to take it partly out of sympathy for them, but she had almost no resources to work with and no experience in this area of the law. She didn't even depose Michael Schiavo's siblings, who were key witnesses at the trial that decided whether Terri would have wanted to be kept alive. Not surprisingly, Felos steamrollered her...[there's more]

I'm getting sick of the argument "you conservatives believe in the rule of law, so why can't you go along with the multiple rulings by the courts?" Or, "You conservatives believe in Federalism, so how can you let Congress or the President to step in?" If Teri were a poor felon on Death Row there would be a proper means by which what seems to be an injustice could be corrected--President's and governors have the power of the pardon.

The power to pardon doesn't work in this case, but the attempt by Congress to interfere is analogous to it. I don't think it undermines Federalism, anymore than if Bush pardoned someone on Death Row.

Posted by John Weidner at March 26, 2005 12:17 PM
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