Skip to comments.Terri and executive power (Terri Schiavo and Executive Power)
Posted on 03/23/2005 7:40:30 AM PST by topher
http://www.renewamerica.us/news/050322quackenbush.htm Terri and executive power The case of Terri Schiavo is disturbing at a constitutional level, because -- although both the governor and the legislature have determined that court-ordered starvation contravenes Terri Schiavo's basic rights, given the circumstances -- yet many are acting as if the only word to be spoken on these deep constitutional matters is that uttered by the courts. The matter of Terri Schiavo Unfortunately, in the Schiavo case, the judiciary has set its face against what the society, the people, the legislature, and the Governor believe is constitutional right. The question is, "Do the judges get to dictate, in an instance like this, what shall be our understanding of basic rights and moral requirements?" Some conservatives might be concerned about urging the executive to act against a court order, because of a laudable concern to limit executive power. But our Founders understood that the place to limit executive power was in its illicit exercise, not its essential and necessary exercise. As we contact our leaders in this case, it is very important to show understanding of the fact that we acknowledge that they have an independent responsibility under the Constitution of both Florida and the United States to act in defense of basic constitutional integrity and rights. Governor Bush co-equal
March 22, 2005
Declaration Foundation & Declaration Alliance Senior Scholar
But this is a deep error regarding the nature of republican self-government.
Separation of powers
Have we forgotten that we have a separation of powers, that judicial orders are not self-effectuating, and that the other two branches have both a responsibility and an obligation to see that the Constitution is rightly respected?
Each branch has a responsibility to respect the Constitution and our nation's laws, but the executive has a particular responsibility to respect the Constitution and laws in the press of events as they occur.
Bear in mind that the judicial branch is concerned primarily with preserving justice -- the correspondence of our lives to the Constitution and the laws -- in the past. The judicial branch is primarily retrospective.
The legislative branch is concerned primarily with prospective justice -- conceiving and enacting laws that will perfect the society's pursuit of justice in the future.
But the executive is pre-eminently concerned with ensuring that the political community respects the law, the Constitution, and the fundamental principles of that Constitution, in the only moment that really exists -- the present. The executive acts, he does not judge what has been done, or consider what should be done in the future.
If the executive deems that something is occurring now -- whether by mandate of the court or not -- that violates that basic premises of the Constitution, he is bound by his oath to take action. Acting is what executives do.
Right now, Terri Schindler-Schiavo is being deliberately starved. Thus, the Florida executive, Jeb Bush, is bound by his oath to act now in accordance with his conscientious understanding of what the Constitution and the laws of Florida require, because the judge in the case has no executive power.
We have forgotten that among the powers that are separated is the power of the execution of the law, reserved to the executive. The notion that judges' orders are self-executing is a dangerous notion that violates the whole understanding of the separation of powers.
There are reasons that the power of executing the law is restricted to one branch of the government. Among those reasons are considerations of efficiency and effectiveness. But above all, the power to act is concentrated in the executive so that the people can concentrate their vigilance on the executive.
The covert assumption of the executive power by the judiciary in the Schiavo case has become an ideal example of the judiciary's continuing assault on the moral sense and sensibility of our people, an assault that continues, in this case, in contravention of the will of the people as expressed in Florida in the state legislature, by the governor, now by the Congress of the United States.
With that in mind, Jeb Bush has the perfect right and obligation to act to prevent this violation of Terri Schindler-Schiavo's basic constitutional rights, and to do so in such a way as to prevent what amounts to judicially-mandated murder. And I hope that he will understand that responsibility and act, while the Congress and the legislature continue to take the steps that they can, to try to make sure that this does not continue.
The citizens of Florida, and of the United States, should support Governor Bush by encouraging him to exercise energetically his constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
The answer to that question is "no." No branch of government gets to dictate what the outcome will be, by itself, in America.
And in this particular case, with the other branches ranged against them, the judges actually have no power or authority, and it is the executive who can act. Governor Bush needs simply to intervene, to protect this woman's life, to look the court in the eye and say, as President Andrew Jackson did, "You've made your ruling. You enforce it." They can't enforce it, of course, because they have no executive power to do so.
When judges act in a way that contravenes the conscience of the executive, they forfeit the cooperation of the executive -- and that is how the Founders intended it to be. It is about time that the executive reasserted that truth of our constitutional system, and Florida would be a great place to start. The courts do not get to act like little tyrants, in this country.
We are supposed to have a system based on three equal branches, and yet what we are seeing in this case, as in many others, is a judicial dictatorship, where the will of the people as represented in the majority in the legislature, in the duly elected executive in the governorship, is having no efficacy whatsoever to protect the rights of this individual.
Keeping things in perspective
Conservatives must urge Jeb Bush to take action, so that Terri Schindler-Schiavo will not be starved to death by the courts, because he has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of Florida. This woman has a positive right, under the Florida constitution, to defend her life, and that right is being utterly disregarded, and destroyed -- and Governor Bush knows it.
Given his oath as an executive, Governor Bush has a distinct and clear responsibility to defend Terri's constitutional rights in this case, regardless of whether any court is willing to do so, because he, as The Executive, is a separate and equal branch, and must be governed by his own will and conscience when it comes to his oath.
The notion that the judge makes the law, and that whatever the judges say is the dictate that the rest of us must follow, does not apply to the other branches of government which are co-equal with the judiciary, and which can and must pass in review the judgments made by the judiciary, in order to see whether they pass constitutional muster.
Governor Bush obviously feels that the action of the Florida courts has not passed that muster, and should the federal court review likewise fail to do so, he has a duty to act, in order to defend what he believes to be the constitutional right in this case. And we, the people, ought to be contacting his office and letting him know that we support him in that duty.
Terri and executive power
The case of Terri Schiavo is disturbing at a constitutional level, because -- although both the governor and the legislature have determined that court-ordered starvation contravenes Terri Schiavo's basic rights, given the circumstances -- yet many are acting as if the only word to be spoken on these deep constitutional matters is that uttered by the courts.
The matter of Terri Schiavo
Unfortunately, in the Schiavo case, the judiciary has set its face against what the society, the people, the legislature, and the Governor believe is constitutional right. The question is, "Do the judges get to dictate, in an instance like this, what shall be our understanding of basic rights and moral requirements?"
Some conservatives might be concerned about urging the executive to act against a court order, because of a laudable concern to limit executive power. But our Founders understood that the place to limit executive power was in its illicit exercise, not its essential and necessary exercise. As we contact our leaders in this case, it is very important to show understanding of the fact that we acknowledge that they have an independent responsibility under the Constitution of both Florida and the United States to act in defense of basic constitutional integrity and rights.
Governor Bush co-equal
CALL GOV. BUSH at 850-488-4441, or e-mail him by clicking here.
The government was established with the understanding that federal governance and state governance is separate. The supremacy clause states that when two laws, state and federal, conflict with one another, federal supersedes the state. The problem is that federal law DOES NOT conflict here, because there isn't one. Congress is attempting to enact a statue that WILL conflict with the state, therefore overriding it. That's an abuse of power in my opinion.
Touching on "cruel and unusual", where does the line stand on this issue? If someone cannot breathe on their own, but will take several hours to die if removed from a respirator, is this "cruel and unusual"? I'm not so sure.
Well, actually, to fill you in on these historical facts: The Governor took it to heart just fine, but then the Florida Supreme Court struck down the law as "unconstitutional".
Which brings us back to the premise of the article at the top of this thread: How does executive power stack against judicial? The article is asserting that executive need not bow down without exception.
I guess my next question (thanks for asking) would be ... what's next, or would you rather I Google?
What's next, I suspect, is that Terri will continue to be starved until she is dead, and most of our polity will continue to subscribe to the view of black-robed judges as our masters whose say is final.
The point of the article was to say that Jeb Bush ought not to let that happen, and in a perfect world, he wouldn't, and in the original vision of our government, he'd be well within his power to do something. I agree with that article. And it sounds like you do too. So, we all agree.
I am only part of Post 91, as it is very long. This is only accusations on Judge Greer.
Somewhere else I saw the Florida statutes he was in violation of.
Criminal Investigation of Greer for Prejudice and Judicial Misconduct
1) Refusal to hear credible testimony
Judge Greer refused to acknowledge testimony of 10 doctors and 3 nurses who have cared for Terri and who testify that:
a) Terri is not in a persistive vegetative state
b) Terri is able to be rehabilitated with care and therapy
c) Terris original injuries are questionable and consistent with spouse abuse and attempted strangulation
d) Terri has been abused and neglected by her husband; denied treatment for infection and possible attempted murder while in nursing home care (discovery of empty insulin vial and temperature in room set at 64 degrees)
Jude Greer instead chose to believe contrary testimony by two of Michaels representatives who are:
a) A doctor who rarely sees Terri (Dr. Gambone who has now resigned as Terris doctor)
b) Ronald Cranford, Hannipeg County Medical Center , Minnesota who makes an avocation of testifying in cases such as Terri's throughout the country, always on the side of dehydration and starvation.
Example of testimony ignored:
Dr. Alexander T. Gimon, Clinical Neuro-psychologist, presents evidence that Terri Schiavo does indeed have cognitive function and should receive therapy: "Given the neglect which Terri has suffered...it is striking that her current cognitive functioning is as strong and varied in expression as it is. This indicates that sufficient brain structure exists for further cognitive and behavioral progress to be made. Terri is an excellent subject for a variety of cognitive treatment protocols designed to improve her neurological function, including neuroaerobics, physical therapy, recreational/occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy."
2) Judicial Canon violation motion to dismiss Greer
a) Greer revealed information about the case, predisposition as to how he would rule, merits of the case, testimony he had received to local reporters without counsel present.
b)Judge Greer advised Tampa Atty General office that if Gov Bush was a lawyer, his letter to the judge would be a grievous offense under Fl Bar rules; statements made without counsel present.
c) Motion to Disqualify Judge Greer filed on Fri. Sept 5th at which time Judge Greer contacted Deputy Atty General John Carassas and Sheriff Rice in an attempt to attack the factual basis of the motion and affidavits.
3) Conflict of Interest and Prejudice
Judge George Greer is not impartial. He has worked side by side as county commissioner with Barbara Sheen Todd (county commissioner) for eight years. Barbara Sheen Todd is on the board of the hospice. Also, Judge Greer's fellow judge, Judge John Lenderman is the brother of Martha Lenderman, also on the hospice board. Greer accepted as the basis of his rulings, the questionable testimony of Michael Schiavo that Terri would wish to be killed, yet Michael never stated this until he had received the 1.2 million dollar settlement. Greer also accepted as the basis of his rulings, the "opinion" of a third doctor who is the brother of a close associate of George Felos, right-to-kill attorney, and very significantly, former Chairman of the hospice board.
4) Denial of Guardian appointment to Ensure Medical Care
Judge Greer refused to allow a non-biased guardian to be appointed for Terris care, despite numerous citations of the violation of Terris rights under State and Federal Law for disabled persons, including assignment of guardian as a requirement under Fl Law, Section 744. Moreover, in the state court proceedings initiated by defendant Michael Schiavo, Terri Schiavo, a severely disabled individual, had no guardian ad litem and no lawyer for the majority of the proceedings. Attorney Pearse who was assigned by the court in 1998 was dismissed from the case by the state court on motion by Michael Schiavos attorney George J. Felos.
5) ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY PERSONS AND DISABLED ADULTS
"... 825.103 Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult; penalties.--
(1) "Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult" means:
(a) Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, an elderly person's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who:[Felos and Greer need to be investigated by the State of Florida and the US Attorney General.]
1. Stands in a position of trust and confidence with the elderly person or disabled adult; or
2. Has a business relationship with the elderly person or disabled adult; or
(b) Obtaining or using, endeavoring to obtain or use, or conspiring with another to obtain or use an elderly person's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who knows or reasonably should know that the elderly person or disabled adult lacks the capacity to consent.
(2)(a) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $100,000 or more, the offender commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. [Terri's fund reportedly only has $50,000 left. Felos himself has admitted receiving $500,000 to assist in killing Terri.]
(b) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, the offender commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult is valued at less than $20,000, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.--s. 4, ch. 95-158; s. 5, ch. 96-322; s. 1, ch. 97-78.
Advocating what our Forefathers advocated. Rebellion against a tyrant or in this case a series of tyrants. Judicial Tyrants. They do not rule us
I have to agree with your post, and the article.
It is quite obvious that the only person who can save Terri is the Chief Executive of the state of Florida. If Terri dies, it will be because Gov. Bush did nothing to stop it. What is the saying about good men doing nothing in the face of evil?
How do you propose getting something that HAS to be done accomplished if you cannot get the votes? What if it's a topic that you believe in with all your will?
Please elaborate on what exactly you think the Govenor can do.
The only thing needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.
No, other than to add, I thought your reply to my ...
" The question is ... why not?" (post #42) was outstanding.
"I dunno. He's afeard, I reckon."
We must stop electing these wimps and begin to find strong, courageous, honest politicians.
You know ... those that are unafeared, and jump when the backseat drivers tell them to.
I'm not saying that removing the tube is illegal, I am saying the forcing her to starve to death is illegal.
No court in this country and justify it's moral existance by stating flatly that it is "ok" to starve a person to death regardless of their mental capacity.
This issue is a moral issue, not a legal issue. The law be damned in this case. If the law is wrong then we as a people have the moral responsibility to 1. Ignore it and 2. work to change it.
The Police officers that keep that woman from being fed by hand are just as guilty as the man who gave the order and the man who sought the order.
If we allow a woman who has committed no crime to be willfully murdered, then we don't have far to go to be at the gates of hell. If the law allows this, then the law has become so perverted that the meaning, the very foundations, of this nation have crumbled.
Absolutely and if that is the case then it's past time for a house cleaning. The Judges need to go, the Pols who allowed this to continue need to go and the lawyers who support them both need to be used to create an artificial reef at the bottom of some very deep ocean.
I have started, when will you follow?
I have in my lifetime never followed an illegal order. Even at the risk of my career and my families livelyhood.
It all depends on the law. I don't always like the law, but that is what I have to change, not asking the President to circumvent the law, in an unconstitutional manner.
I have not commented on what I personally think of this case, because it really doesn't matter, and that is the point. For all of those stating that the judiciary is committing unlawful acts, that is just ridiculous. They are following the law, at this point. If it is changed today by the Florida Legislation, I will Praise God, but as of this moment, many here are actually asking for judicial activism, which is a scary thought.
I think Michael Schiavo is scum for not turning over guardianship to the parents, but according to the law he didn't have to. If the allegations against him are proven (abuse, etc), then he will be punished. But until that time, the judges must follow Florida law, whether we like it or not.
This doesn't mean that we don't have any recourse. We do, we can continue to call the Florida legislatures to change the law, we can remember this when they are up for re election, and campaign against them, but we can't expect the President, or the Governor to break the law (as it is written now).
You said exactly what I've been trying to. I agree 100%. Bravo.
To protect one person. Yes, that's exactly what the President of a nation founded on individual rights should do.
"Although we each have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must never take knee jerk reactions that threatens the rest of the Constitution!"
She has the right to life. Her Constitutional right. The govt. is charged with protecting that right. How does protecting an indiviuals right to life threaten the whole Constitution?
Our "right to life" is being replaced by "a right to die", and so many seem to want it so. Sad.
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