Judge: Case Of Brain-Damaged Woman Can Proceed

Judge: Case Of Brain-Damaged Woman Can Proceed
Fri Nov 14 18:09:33 2003

Judge: Case Of Brain-Damaged Woman Can Proceed
Governor Files Appeal

UPDATED: 5:05 p.m. EST November 14, 2003

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit filed by Terri Schiavo's husband against Gov. Jeb Bush can proceed without delay.

Michael Schiavo sued Bush to challenge the constitutionality of a law passed by the Legislature last month that allowed the governor to order the brain-damaged woman's feeding tube reinserted.

Bush's lawyers filed an appeal later Friday afternoon.

"We will defend vigorously the constitutionality of the law," Bush said.

The appeal that Bush's attorneys filed argued that Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird abused his discretion with Friday's ruling because there were no "compelling" circumstances that justify allowing the case to move ahead.

Baird said the case needs to proceed because Terri Schiavo's constitutional right not to be kept alive artificially is being violated. He called the state law "presumptively unconstitutional."

Michael Schiavo has been fighting his in-laws -- Bob and Mary Schindler -- in court for years for the right to remove his wife's feeding tube, saying she would not want to be kept alive artificially. She suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when her heart temporarily stopped, cutting off oxygen to her brain.

Some doctors and a judge have ruled that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope for recovery. Her parents, however, dispute those findings, saying they believe she could improve with therapy.
ACLJ Asking Florida Appeals Court to Permit Parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo to Intervene in Case to Defend 'Terri's Law'

CLEARWATER, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2003--The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law, today took action in an effort to clear the way for Robert and Mary Schindler - the parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo - to intervene directly in a case where "Terri's Law" is being challenged by a lawsuit filed by Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and supported by the ACLU.

The ACLJ today filed a notice of appeal involving two orders issued by Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird denying a motion by the Schindlers to intervene in the case and Judge Baird's denial of a motion for rehearing - a motion that requested Judge Baird to reconsider his initial decision on the intervention question. The ACLJ filed a notice of appeal with the circuit court and will file its brief with the Second District Court of Appeal at a later date.

"It is important that the parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo be directly involved in defending the law that is keeping their daughter alive," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "The actions taken by the state legislature and the Governor were not only appropriate but constitutional as well. Since 'Terri's Law' faces a serious legal challenge, it is only appropriate that the court permit Terri's parents to become a party in this case - to be directly involved - in the battle to save the life of their daughter."

Sekulow added: "We're hopeful that the appeals court will grant the Schindlers the opportunity to present their position in this critical case as a direct party rather than through a friend-of-the-court brief."

In an effort to ensure that the views of the Schindlers are heard while the denial of the motion to intervene is appealed, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief on their behalf November 6th defending the constitutionality of the actions of the state legislature and Governor Jeb Bush in restoring life-saving measures to Terri.

The ACLJ is representing the Schindlers in Schiavo v. Bush - the legal challenge to the constitutionality of the actions of the Governor and state legislature. Patricia Fields Anderson, an attorney in St. Petersburg, is representing Terri's parents in all other aspects of the Schiavo case.

The American Center for Law and Justice is an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law and the protection of human life. The ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C. and its web site address is www.aclj.org .
The American Center for Law and Justice, D.C.
Gene Kapp, 757-575-9520
Visit ACLJ Newsroom:


Main Page - Monday, 11/17/03

Message Board by American Patriot Friends Network [APFN]


messageboard.gif (4314 bytes)