Skip to comments.House speaker Byrd defends law keeping brain-damaged woman alive
Posted on 11/10/2003 7:06:03 PM PST by sweetliberty
Florida House Speaker Johnnie Byrd defended in court papers Monday a hastily passed law that allowed Gov. Jeb Bush to order the reinsertion of a severely brain-damaged woman's feeding tube. Meanwhile, an attorney for Bush asked the 2nd District Court of Appeal to throw out a lawsuit that contends lawmakers and the governor overstepped constitutional bounds when Bush ordered Terri Schiavo's tube reinserted Oct. 21 despite her husband's wish that she be allowed to die.
An attorney for Byrd asked Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird for permission to intervene through a friend-of-the-court brief, which argues that the Legislature has the legal authority to change laws, even if it alters decisions made by the courts.
Florida courts had repeatedly affirmed the right of Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael, to remove her feeding tube because he's her legal guardian. She had gone without water and nutrition for six days when the Legislature and Bush stepped in to have the tube reinserted.
"The Legislature's role in establishing public policy is paramount and its role in regulating the actions of the other branches is significant," Byrd's brief said.
Byrd also contends that the Legislature gave Bush guardianship responsibilities that made it legal for the governor to intervene in the case.
Michael Schiavo and his wife's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have fought in court for years over his desire to remove the feeding tube. He contends she would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially.
But the Schindlers say their daughter had no end-of-life wishes and believe she can be rehabilitated. They also dispute that she is in a vegetative state and believe she has enough mental abilities to respond to them.
Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, working closely with the American Civil Liberties Union, is challenging the constitutionality of what some have termed "Terri's Law," arguing that it violated Terri's Schiavo's right to privacy and violates separation-of-power provisions in the Florida Constitution.
Last week, Baird denied a motion by Bush's attorney, Kenneth L. Connor, to throw out Felos' suit. Connor contended that it was invalid because Bush had not been personally served and because it was not filed in Tallahassee where the governor is based.
Connor appealed Baird's decision to the 2nd District on Monday, triggering an automatic stay in the case until the issue is settled. A brief from the governor defending the constitutionality of the law was due Monday, but Connor filed the appeal instead.
Some doctors and a judge have ruled that Terri Schiavo, who was raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope for recovery. She suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when her heart temporarily stopped, cutting off oxygen to her brain, because of a chemical imbalance.
Messages left with Felos and Connor were not immediately returned Monday.
Why? Is he dieing? Trying to make ammends with the maker before he goes?
I though Bush and his legislators in Florida saved Teri. How'd "pretty, pretty, pretty" get into it?
Oh. LOL. I had visions of an old Democrat fat guy when I read this. LOL. No wonder it seemed odd he'd suppoprt life. I thought for sure he must be dieing!
Maybe I should give it up and go to bed?
Are you kidding? THAT Byrd wants them dead so they CAN start voting again. They're no use to him alive.
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