By a vote of 2-1, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Terri Schiavo’s parents and their attempt to resume the feeding and hydration of their daughter. I haven’t yet reviewed the court’s decision. In my view, the district court, whose ruling the Eleventh Circuit upheld, ignored Congress’ clear intent in passing the legislation that provided federal court jurisdiction, basically because (like me) the judge didn’t agree with what Congress had done. Thus, I thought there was a sound basis for reversing the lower court’s decision.
Now Justice Kennedy is in the batter’s box. He will be asked to stay Terri’s death. Kennedy thought it was cruel and unusual to execute a teenager who committed pre-meditated murder because he understood that he wouldn’t be executed for the crime. I don’t know what Kennedy will make of Terri’s death by starvation and dehydration. However, the Europeans, to whom Kennedy looked for guidance in the juvenile death penalty case, tend to be okay with this sort of thing.
UPDATE: Howard Bashman at How Appealing has a quick analysis of the decision as well as a link and a back-up link to the opinion.
SECOND UPDATE: Here is Andrew McCarthy’s take on the Eleventh Circuit’s decision and the dissent by Judge Wilson. Wilson seems plainly correct when he writes that the intent of Congress:
is to maintain the status quo by keeping Theresa Schiavo alive until the federal courts have a new and adequate opportunity to consider the constitutional issues raised by Plaintiffs. The entire purpose of the statute was to give the federal courts an opportunity to consider the merits of Plaintiffs