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Monday, March 21, 2005
 
Draw your own conclusions.


The Schiavo case is now primarily about one issue:

The role of the State courts versus the role of congress and the Federal courts. You may recall that most "conservatives" in this country believe that any power not specifically given to the federal government and not specifically forbidden to state government, belongs to the states, not the feds. It's in the constitution; Amendment X, I believe.

By passing a special federal law just for Terri's family, congressional "conservatives" have proudly unfurled the flag of their hypocrisy, confident that not enough voters will notice or remember it in 2006. Of course, the Repubs have done it before, but not to this ridiculous extreme.

Why would they discard their conservative principles? Why would they legislate a "do-over" when the law (that they claim to respect so much) gives them an answer that they don't like? One possible answer: It makes their Right Wing Christian base very, very happy.

The premise they used to create this legislation is that there is some "doubt" about her medical condition. But there isn't any doubt:
"Over the span of this last decade, Theresa's brain has deteriorated because of the lack of oxygen it suffered at the time of the heart attack. By mid 1996, the CAT scans of her brain showed a severely abnormal structure. At this point, much of her cerebral cortex is simply gone and has been replaced by cerebral spinal fluid."
Years of medical and legal wrangling have established to the satisfaction of every Florida court that Terri has the same splendid quality of life as a turnip. As one doctor put it, "The videotapes tell the truth but you can't have excerpts of the truth". To put it another way, you can't have "blue medical facts" and "red medical facts"; at least not yet.

Of course, Senator Frist disagrees. And the Christian Right disagrees. Their hope is that this type of legal shenanigan can eventually be used to legally define a fertilized egg as "life"; entitled to all of the same protections that Terri has. I think they'll be disappointed.

If the legal system in this country has any independent function left, this law will eventually be struck down; probably at the Supreme Court or just below it, and if Justice Scalia has even a shred of legal integrity (which is a separate debate) he will be first in line to do so.

In the meantime, they'll shove the feeding tube back into the animated corpse that used to be Terri Schiavo and pump her up again.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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