Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Terri Schiavo: Morality and Legality

When I am most frustrated and most upset, sometimes it helps to lose myself in the legal minutiae of this case. The law can produce awful results, but if you dig into it, sometimes you don't notice what is going wrong. OK, so it's denial - but if I don't leave the field every now and then, I'll go nuts.

Boy, when Hugh Hewitt gets involved, he really gets involved. He has been posting at an incredible rate for him today. Couple of posts are really great. If you don't already know, Hugh is one of the leading Endangered Species Act lawyers in the country. In this post he shows that supposedly endangered species are provided more protection that Terri was in this morning's ruling. He's right and that is really sick.

In this post Hugh, discusses the precedence case for the removal of life support in PVS situations. He links to this NRO piece from Andrew McCarthy that I read just before I read Hugh's post. The legal arguments are powerful, but here is the money quote:
Here, it bears noting that Whittemore was placed on the federal bench by President Clinton in 2000 after spending a decade as a judge in the state courts of Florida. His opinion is a staunch approbation of the integrity of Florida’s procedural framework, and extremely deferential to the performance of his former state-court colleague, Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer.
If you have ever been involved in litigation you know that judicial cronyism is an ugly, ugly factor. Truth is often hostage to politics, even in courts.

On the morality side is this great piece from David Limbaugh. He puts to print the argument that I have been hearing repeatedly today:
I doubt that I'll ever be able to understand, much less relate to, the sympathies of certain people. Generally speaking, they seem to feel more compassion for wildlife than animals, more for animals than human beings, more for guilty human beings than innocent ones, more for Communist dictators and tyrannical thugs than freedom fighters, and more for the vindication of an abstract principle devaluing human life than for an actual human being like Terri Schiavo, who, though severely disabled, may truly want to live.
I don't know what we have to do, but we have got to return to a position where morality is more important than legality in this country. Judges need to start standing up for what is right instead of what is merely legal. In many cases those judges establish what is legal, through precedent.

The founding fathers clearly know that for our nation to survive it needed an underlying common sense of morality. As I said in the previous post, only Jesus can return us to a place where we have that shared sense of morality.



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