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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I can't believe it

Ed Jordan at MediaCulpa has posted his observations from a hearing at the Tampa federal courthouse yesterday. Judge James Whittemore considered the Schindler’s request to issue a temporary restraining order (to restore Terri’s feeding tube) but has not honored it because, apparently, a crucial element was left out of the law Congress passed in the middle of last Sunday night!

I can’t believe it. Here’s the portion that was left out:


1. Upon the filing of a suit or claim under this Act, the District Court may issue a stay of any State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo pending the determination of the suit.

Whittemore will not issue a TPO until the Schindlers can demonstrate substantial chance of winning their case.

So now, the Schindlers are appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Terri is dying...

Update: Actually, even with the wording "may issue a stay...", there is still judicial freedom to not issue a stay. Apparently, an earlier version of the bill contained the word "shall" in place of "may"...oh, that that word, and Sec. 5, had remained!

further update/comment: Obviously, I am not a lawyer. I realize that much of the debate over Terri's case involves law and interpretation of law, which is not an exact science. I admit that I do not know nor understand all of the reasoning involved in the omission of Sec. 5 from the "compromise law." I do not know whether it is reasonable and acceptable or not. It obviously passed muster in Congress but as to exactly why, I don't know.


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