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March 20, 2005
Debate In House Coming To End, Vote Pending

The debate in Congress over the bill to extend federal jurisdiction to the parents of Terri Schiavo in their efforts to save her life. I've bounced in and out of the debate, mostly amused to hear some of the arguments opposing the bill. For instance, I've heard at least one representative try to inject race into the argument, claiming that Terri only gets this attention because she's white. Another got up and claimed that the bill offered Terri "all of the Medicare" she wanted while Congress spent their time denying it to others. Yet another objected, in the one minute accorded her, being yanked out of her place of worship to suffer the indignity of being forced back to Washington.

Most, however, debated sensibly about the effect of the particulars of the bill and the case at hand. As I write this, at 11:15 PM CT, the Democratic whip makes the case for federalism that most Democrats have. I've missed most of the GOP arguments, unfortunately, just out of luck as I've caught the debate at the moments when they spoke. Tom DeLay now has the floor, and he spoke stirringly. "A young woman in Florida is being dehydrated and starved to death," he said. "For fifty-eight long hours, her mouth has been parched and her hunger pains have been throbbing. If we do not act, she will die of thirst. However helpless, Mr. Speaker, she is alive. She is still one of us, and this cannot stand."

DeLay demanded the vote, and Hastert called the vote. Barney Frank, acting in charge of the opposition, called for a individual vote. They have 12 minutes left, and the ayes lead 121-36 so far.

UPDATE: 9 minutes left, and 23 of 60 Democratic votes cast have supported the bill, an important point. Let's be careful about making this sound too partisan. 133-41 to pass so far.

UPDATE II 11:36 PM CT: 200-55 for passage, and Democrats split 46-52 for the bill. Only three Republicans voted against it. The bill needs to get printed by the Senate and taken to the White House, where Bush will immediately sign it, perhaps in the next one to two hours. A federal court has remained alerted to a possible emergency application for injunctive relief, which may mean by the time we wake up tomorrow, an order for resumption of nutrition and hydration will have been executed.

UPDATE III: Official count was 203-58, with five Republicans voting nay.

UPDATE IV: AP reports the vote here:

While Terri Schiavo lay in her hospice bed early Monday, the U.S. Congress gave a boost to the hopes of the brain-damaged woman's parents that her feeding tube would be reinserted. ...

An attorney for Schiavo's parents filed a request for an emergency injunction with a federal appellate court to have her feeding tube reinserted once the bill passed. He also planned to make a similar request with the federal district court in Tampa.

It shouldn't take long to see how the federal courts will receive this.

UPDATE V: Bush signed the bill early this morning, and the Schindlers filed a lawsuit in federal court with a request for an emergency order restoring Terri's feeding tube.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 20, 2005 11:08 PM

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» Will Terri Schiavo Be a Liability For Democrats? from Shane Raynor
I'm still watching the Terri Schiavo debate and I'm quite irritated that some Democratic members of Congress have used this evening as an opportunity to posture and lecture the Republicans about social programs. One member of North Carolina's Democrati... [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 12:32 AM

» Bush Signs Schiavo Legislation from Myopic Zeal
President Bush signed the Schiavo legislation very early this morning. Michelle Malkin links to several mirror sites that have posted the audio of Terri Schiavo's response to the removal of her feeding tube. They are here, here, here and here. The... [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 5:30 AM

» Terri's Law from Secure Liberty
In a fairly remarkable intervention by the U.S. Congress in what is essentially a family affair, President Bush today signed a bill that gives Terri Schiavo's family the chance to apply to the federal courts to restore her feeding tube. (H/T Captain Ed... [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 8:38 AM

» 2 questions for those in favor of this law... from ThoughtsOnline
is it safe to assume that you favor judge/forum shopping, and in light of your past criticisms of Terry's fate having rested with a 'single judge', how can you support this law which gives a single judge the authority to review the case? [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 10:06 AM

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