Skip to comments.Cheney Opposes Retribution Against Schiavo Judges
Posted on 04/04/2005 8:06:29 AM PDT by tessalu
Vice President Cheney says he opposes revenge against judges for their refusal to prolong the life of the late Terri Schiavo, although he did not criticize House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for declaring that they will "answer for their behavior."
Cheney was asked about the issue on Friday by the editorial board of the New York Post. He said twice that he had not seen DeLay's remarks, but the vice president said he would "have problems" with the idea of retribution against the courts. "I don't think that's appropriate," he said. "I may disagree with decisions made by judges in any one particular case. But I don't think there would be much support for the proposition that because a judge hands down a decision we don't like, that somehow we ought to go out -- there's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
well, ought not judges be accountable?
They are in coverup mode. I'm with Rep. Delay. He is putting his career on the line.
It's not their decisions in a case that matter, it's their decision not to follow the law as is their duty that matters.
Yes, Mr. Vice President. However, the reason why they were given lifetime appointments was so that they DIDN'T inject themselves into the polictics of the thing.
That has clearly gone by the wayside.
The people's voice --laws dutifully and rightfully enacted by the people's representatives-- were completely ignored.
The judiciary has taken over the direction of this country. They are dictating what we can and can't say. They are dictating what we can and can't do. They are dictating exactly what we are and aren't to approve of (as a society).
They have become dictators within our own borders.
Judges are no longer men (or women) of sound reasoning and intepretation of the law. They are no longer men (or women) of principle.
Now, judges are men and women of sentiment. And, sentiment, Mr. Vice President doesn't last.
And, if the Executive and Legislative let this go on too much longer, neither will our Republic.
Why was only one man, Judge Greer, the determinant of the facts in Terri's case?
In most other cases, it is a jury that determines the facts. Certainly the facts in all capital cases are determined by a jury, although the defendant could select trial by a judge if he were so inclined.
Qualified individuals can make wise judgments. An individual can also make horrific judgments. Our society has determined that groups of individuals are more likely to be wise. That is why we have city councils, company boards of directors, and jury trials. Groups of people tend to be "less imperfect" than single individuals.
Setting aside personalities, as distasteful as they appear to be, having only one person determine the facts seems to be the central failing of the judicial system in Terri's case. For the future, that failing could be solved by legislative action.
Judge Greer DOES NOT HAVE A LIFETIME APPOINTMENT. He is elected. He is accountable to his electorate. Of course, he is not accountable to me; I am not in Florida.
Let the people in Florida take care of this -- if they dare. The country is watching Florida.
I pray that they use the power of the people to correct this injustice and put a STOP to this movement to devalue life and to legalize euthanasia. If we hope to stop the murder of unborn children, we must ensure that we are not killing off our elderly because of inconvenience.
That's what social liberals do-- bow to the judiciary.
...can't say he's a fiscal conservative either, given his support of GWB's spending largess.
...exactly what kind of conservative is he, again?
Yes he is. And his constituents don't like his continued foray against judges one bit, according to the latest polls in Sugarland.
Cheney's right. The problem is not the judges in the Schiavo case; it's the Florida law.
But he is no moral philosopher, and this statement makes that painfully obvious. Skill does not equal wisdom.
Compassionate? I mean that is the mantra isn't it?
Which ones? Could you give citations? Does "not applied in the way I agree with" qualify as "completely ignored"?
They are no longer men (or women) of principle. Now, judges are men and women of sentiment.
It is odd that the same people who were accusing Judge Greer and the appellate judges of being cold monsters are now claiming that they are being ruled by sentiment instead.
Why was only one man, Judge Greer, the determinant of the facts in Terri's case?
Because that's the way Florida wrote its statute. Different proceedings will or will not involve a jury, depending upon what the law says.
Many other judges looked at this over the years. I wish things could have been different here, but the bad guy in this is Michael Schiavo.
The judges followed the law. If I want my feeding tube pulled, I don't want a judge to forbid my husband to do it. There is that right in the US.
Unfortunately, MS makes a mockery of spousal rights.
So sorry, VP Cheney, I cannot agree with you on this. Even the latest decision by Judge Greer (forgetting the 89 DCF investigations into abuse) smacks of lawlessness, brutal judicial dictatorship.
He was re-elected in Nov. 2004 with 65% of the county vote. This was after his opponent outspent him 421 to 1 and campaigned against him primarily on the Schaivo case. The voters here sided with Greer.
The people of Pinellas County may be perfectly comfortable with the corruption there, or have no defense against it. Even if he is elected he is bounded in what he can and cannot do, and there are state and federal checks against turning a county into a oligarchical fiefdom.
Standard Republican response, NOT A NUT ON THEM!
I've always liked Cheney, and rational, logical statements like this just serve to make me like him more.
It really is too bad that he won't run in 2008. He'd make a great President.
There is no Constitutional right to a jury trial in a State civil case.
That was a funny way to vote for a community of people that are a little closer to the feeding tube than other places. I bet this guy doesn't come up for another vote for 6 years. And I bet he'll be elected again.
Judge Greer apparently did follow the law. That is what the appeals courts all ruled.
The appeals courts did not review the "facts" in the case, they just determined that Judge Greer followed the law in determining the "facts."
That law is, I believe, one that should be changed by legislative action. In life and death cases, where there is controversy, the determination of "facts" should not be at the discretion of any single individual. Rather, the facts should be determined by a jury of dispassionate, uninvolved citizens, under the customary rules of evidence.
Had this approach been followed in Terri's case, there is a strong possibility that many of the inconsistencies in the record would have been weighted differently than they were in Judge Greer's sole determination.
and is disgusted by what they see.
Does that mean the voters are Nazi death cultists?
In the end, the judge even forbade Mr. Schiavo from putting Terri's feeding tube back in if he chose to do so. See the quote from the Florida Second Dictrict Court of Appeals below:
The trial courts decision does not give Mrs. Schiavos legal guardian the option of leaving the life-prolonging procedures in place. No matter who her guardian is, the guardian is required to obey the court order because the court, and not the guardian, had determined the decision that Mrs. Schiavo herself would make.
How can you say the judges followed the law when almost every Florida Statute pertaining to guardians was violated, the ADA was violated, Greer refused to recuse himself several times and Statue 38.10 provides for recusal when requested by a party in a proceeding, and more.
That may not necessarily be true under the Florida Constitution. In Ohio, there is a right to a jury trial in a state civil case for all causes of action which existed in 1851.
Any right to a jury trial in State civil matter is purely based upon State constitutions and laws. I'm guessing that Florida doesn't require juries in cases like this or that the parties waived the right to a jury trial.
I can imagine that Judge Greer was mighty proud, when he made President Bush, and Jeb Bush, tuck tail and run. He showed the legislature of the USA to be impotent and ineffective. Yes, it looked like Judge Greer ruled the nation for a few days. This has just got to stop! If we want a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must fight for it. If we do not fight, we will lose our most basic freedom, the right to live!
Because this was handled by the Probate Court, which never has a jury. Here in Orange County, CA, only one Probate judge handles all competency hearings, which I suspect this was.
Orange County is much bigger than Pinnelas.
I actually cannot imagine that the Washington (*spit!*) Post accurately described this exchange with VP Cheney.
I want to see a freakin transcript.
I'm with Delay as well! Oh, and Cheney said this before Zogby poll came out. Wonder if he will change his mind now? I can't believe these damned politicians! They live by the polls! if the poll says yes, they say yes, if the poll says no they say no! We need leaders who stand up to the polls and say yes when they say no!
Of course rogue judges should be held accountable. Terri Schiavo was denied due process. We don't need a dictatorship of judges.
Your post indicates that you believe a Florida judge is required to recuse himself upon request. That is incorrect, with good reason - do you really think it is a good idea for any litigant to be able to get a new judge just by asking?
Cheney isn't worried about or talking about little probate judges like Greer. He is concerned about the 11th Circuit and their ilk up to and including the Supreme Court. He is also concerned about possible fallout landing on the Bushes. Tough.
I don't disagree with Cheney, but for a different reason. Perhaps it's sophistry, but to discipline Greer for his decisions in the specific case, barring "clear and compelling" evidence of corruption.
However, Greer's obstinant definace over the congressional subpoenas is actionable, as is the defiance of Whittemore and the appelate system to enforce the clear intent of the law passed by congress and signed by President Bush.
Is that clear as mud?
Ok everyone, stop what your doing and call Tom Delay's office and tell him we support a full investigation and Justice for Terri Schindler!
Tom Delay Congressional Phone 1-202-225-5951
Tom Delay Congressional Fax 1-202-225-5241
Tom Delay Majority Leader Phone 1-202-225-4000
Tom Delay Majority Leader Fax 1-202-225-5117
Polls, schmolls. Tom Delay isn't about polls, he's about doing what needs to be done. To quote President Bush on another subject, you're either with us or against us. And I hate to say it, but it looks like the White House is against us on this.
No, they did not.
The judges followed the law.
No, they did not.
Greer ILLEGALLY made an order DENYING food or water by natural means (i.e., by her mouth):
Ordered and Adjudged that Respondents Emergency Expedited Motion for Permission to Provide Theresa Schiavo with Food and Water by Natural Means is DENIED.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sections 12101 provides that necessary and appropriate rehabilitation services and physical/motor skill therapy may not be denied a substantially disabled patient in the United States of America. Cf 28 CFR, Ch 1, Subpart B, Sect 35.130 States "Nothing in the Act or this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline FOOD, WATER, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual."Contrary to Florida Statute, Greer ORDERED Terri's death, based on self-serving hearsay testimony of Michael Schiavo:
765.309 Florida Statute: Mercy Killing of Euthanasia Not Authorized; Suicide Distinguished. -- (1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act of omission to end the life other than to permit the natural process of dying. (2) The withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures from a patient in accordance with any provision of this chapter does not, for any purpose, constitute a suicide.
458.326 Florida Statute: Intractable Pain; Authorized Treatment. -- (4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, and no treatment authorized by this section may be used for such purpose.
782.08 Florida Statute: Assisting Self-Murder. -- Every person deliberately assisting another in the commission of self-murder shall be guilty of manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.775.082, s. 775.083 or s.775.084.
Florida's prohibitions against assisted suicide protects not only the terminally ill, but also the disabled, the elderly, the chronically ill, the severely handicapped.
Withholding food and water by mouth is a deliberate act to end life and is prohibited in the Florida statutes.
"Helping" Terri kill herself is assisted suicide and is also prohibited in the Florida statutes.
Contrary to Florida Statute, Greer did not recuse himself, as required, when asked to do so, 5 times by attorneys Anderson/Gibbs:
Florida Statute 38.10, broken five times by not disqualifying himself from the Schiavo case when it was requested. The statute states whenever a party to any action or proceeding makes and files an affidavit stating fear that he or she will not receive a fair trial in the court where the suit is pending on account of the prejudice of the judge of that court against the applicant or in favor of the adverse party, the judge shall proceed no further, but another judge shall be designated in the manner prescribed by the laws of this state for the substitution of judges for the trial of causes in which the presiding judge is disqualified.
In addition, Greer violated other laws: Judge Greer Breaks Law To Ensure Death
and see, Schiavogate---The Big Cover-up
The PROCEDURAL aspects were what was reviewed, NOT THE FACTS (what are the facts?). ALL the evidence before Greer, including ALL the evidence Greer threw out THAT FAVORED TERRI'S RIGHT TO LIVE, i.e., the testimony given by all of Terri's friends, family, nurses, doctors, the bone scan and report of Dr. Walker, including his deposition (which Greer forbid as evidence as Felos filed a motion requesting such), and medical tests, the deposition of Michael Schiavo (which Greer did not allow, after Felos filed a motion blocking such deposition, several times). ALL THOSE DOCUMENTS, TESTIMONIES, AND DEPOSITIONS ARE THE FACTS OF THE CASE. Every Florida judge who "reviewed" this case, either RUBBER-STAMPED what judge Greer said, or REFUSED to take the case. The federal courts also did not comply with the law, it REFUSED to take the case on de novo review and, once again, merely looked at procedures.
Of course, there may be a reason why the Florida District Court of Appeals and Florida Supreme Court rubber-stamped or refused to over-rule judge Greer:
I believe in the rule of law, but ALL rules of law must apply TO ALL in order for there to be a RULE OF LAW, in order for there to be justice. In this case, following the rule of law did not occur, which is why it led to an unjust and barbaric end called murder via dehydration.
That's because Schiavo used his right as proxy to request that the judge make the decision. Once he did that, it was out of his hands.
Well, he better be concerned when Republicans in his district think less of him for intervening in the Schiavo case.
If he pushes this too far, he could easily lose in 2006. He won with only 55% of the vote in 2004.
Thank you for pointing that out!
Even I knew that, and I've known for a long time that not all judges get life-time appointments, maybe it's only federal ones who do. I'd really, really think VP Cheney would know that.
Recusal is up to the presiding judge. Failure to recuse is subject to appeal. He was never disqualified, so it's safe to assume that the appeals court found no reason to do so if the Schindlers did indeed appeal Greer's decision. The law was followed, so by definition there was no wrongdoing in this area.
I would rather get something accomplished between now and 2006 and let the chips fall where they may. Having a majority just for the majority's sake is meaningless unless you do something with it.
Besides, Republicans have always won by being conservative, not trying to appease the middle-left.
Whittemore addressed intent in his rulings. But if you mean the intent was to force a judge to deliver a specific decision, I'd say that intent is blatantly unconstitutional. That's why the text of the law didn't force Whittemore's decision.
With regard to whether this should have been heard by a jury:
I don't know what the law is in Florida, but where I come from, matters like this are started by a petition of some sort. Petitions and motions are generally heard by a judge -- they are non-jury. Also, again, where I come from, in most other civil cases, you have the OPTION to request a trial by jury -- you don't have to have one.
As to "revenge" against the judge or judges involved -- Revenge is a bad thing. I agree with those who say it would be better to try to have the law changed. As far as I can tell, most of the judges involved in this whole mess ruled according to the law in place.
However, I fear that this whole circus will cause a major split between the factions of government -- so much so, that any attempts to change the law at the legislative and/or executive level will be struck down by the judiciary. Sadly, the losers in this upcoming pissing match will be us -- the citizenry.
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