Patterico's Pontifications


A Simple Question

Filed under: Schiavo — Patterico @ 6:41 pm

This is my first chance to respond to yesterday’s hysterical L.A. Times editorial about Terri Schiavo:

Republican leaders, eyeing an opportunity to appease their radical right-wing constituents, convened Congress over the weekend to shamelessly interject the federal government into the wrenching Schiavo family dispute. They brushed aside our federalist system of government, which assigns the resolution of such disputes to state law, and state judges. Even President Bush flew back from his ranch to Washington on Sunday to be in on what amounts to a constitutional coup d’etat.

Conservatives are the historical defenders of states’ rights, and the supposed proponents of keeping big government out of people’s lives, but this case once again shows that some social conservatives are happy to see the federal government acquire Stalinist proportions when imposing their morality on the rest of the country. So breathtaking was this attempted usurpation of power, wresting jurisdiction over a right-to-die case away from Florida’s judiciary, that Republican leaders in the end had to agree to limit this legislation’s applicability to the Schiavo case.

It’s the end of the republic, folks.

Except that all the bill does is provide federal jurisdiction for a court to determine whether Schiavo’s constitutional rights have been violated.

In response to the Times‘s melodramatic outburst, may I simply ask: would you say the same thing about providing federal habeas review for those convicted of capital crimes? What is the difference between providing federal habeas review for Terri Schiavo, and providing it for someone sentenced to death in state court?

UPDATE: Still waiting for an answer.

8 Responses to “A Simple Question”

  1. […] that many people are reading this blog who believe that Congress acted inappropriately. I posed a challenge a few posts back, and not a single one of you has even tried to answer […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » I Thought I Asked a Question (0c6a63)

  2. The LATrine is at it again. In its scurillous editorials about Terri Sciavo, it manages to call those of us who have done their best to get informed about this tragic situation Stalinists. To the LATrine apologists for the Auchiwitz and Gulag alumni we say “Robert Scheer, pull your head out of that well-known orifice. Not only will you find the experience exhiliariating, you might even learn something.”

    As a individual who came into this situation on the side of her “husband”, it now seems that there is a lot more to this story than the LATrine is willing to tell. Cancel my subscription!

    Mescalero (3a3033)

  3. Stalinist proportions? Well, give them credit for not calling it Hitlerian.

    Exactly what does “morality is being imposed on the rest of the country” mean? What is being imposed here? Whose morality? This is sui generis, a unique piece of legislation in one case that, it seems to me, has no long term effect beyond its limited scope.

    There’s real and legitimate opposition to what Congress did. Serious men and women from across the political spectrum – in good faith – have pointed to the problems of this legislation.

    But you couldn’t find a shred of serious sober thought in this editorial even if you were using the Hubble Telescope. This is just a series of slogans and cliches strung together in hopes of finding an idea.

    Dammed fine waste of some good trees.


    SteveMGalbraith (e5d9e6)

  4. I really do not want to discuss….
    ….the Schiavo case, but there is so much heat and so little light, that I’m forced to respond.Third, the Republicans have their victory, but now they must live w…

    Media Lies (11ee8e)

  5. I really do not understand the criticism of those members of Congress who voted for the special bill.
    1st off, the Supreme Court ruled many, many years ago that the 14th Amendment allowed Congress to pass laws concerning euthanasia that override State laws.

    2nd, I think the Congressmen waited as long as they could and did not intervene until all the State level procedures were done.

    3rd, to those who bitterly oppose allowing the woman to live, would you also agree that the State of Florida should be able to rule that anyone who has an IQ less than 70 can have their relatives withhold food and prevent others from providing?

    seaPea (eeb716)

  6. A habeas corpus review – federal or otherwise – is inappropriate for Terri Schiavo because she is not detained or imprisoned. She is a legally free person. She is, however, an incompetent legally free person and a guardian is exercising her freedom for her.

    Iam Doubt (3b8b67)

  7. I read Instapundit every day…
    ….(Is there anyone who doesn’t?) So I’ve been following his arguments with regard to the Terry Schiavo case (as well as many others) with interest. It should be obvious th…

    Media Lies (11ee8e)

  8. Stalinist proportions are greater than what Hitler did. I heard it said that when Stalin would come to the podium to address a crowd people would clap until their hands were raw, for fear they would be seen to stop before others and risk their lives.
    Before they make such pronouncements again, they should check with Solzhenitsyn to see if it is a reasonable comparison.
    Trying to defend the weak and defenseless, who knows what the evil Right will think of next?

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

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