Captain's Quarters Blog

« Another Exempt Media Blackout? | Main | Day By Day Updated Daily At CQ! »

March 25, 2005
Governor Bush Must Uphold The Law

Now that the federal court has ruled against the Schindlers again this morning in their fight to save their daughter from death, Terri's supporters have renewed their calls for Governor Jeb Bush to step in and do something -- some say even if he has to break the law to do it:

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney -- a Christian Defense Coalition representative who is frequently on hand across the country for controversial matters of concern to religious conservatives -- called for Gov. Bush to send Florida law enforcement officers to "come in and take Terri."

"A citizen of your state is being brutally murdered," he said. "You need to intervene."

Mahoney was organizing the prayer vigil Friday. "We are here on Good Friday to ask Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene to save the life of Terri Schiavo," he said in a statement. "The governor has it within his power to rescue Terri. Her life is in the governor's hand."

I have argued repeatedly for Congress, the Florida legislature, and the two Bush brothers to do all they can do to save Terri's life. As I have expressed here before, I find the forced death by dehydration of a disabled, non-terminal patient at the insistence of an estranged spouse with no support except for the hearsay of a couple of offhand comments heard by the husband and his relatives abhorrent. It smacks of euthanasia and sets a terrible precedent, apart from the inhumanity of forcing Terri's family to watch her die when they've repeatedly requested to be allowed to care for her. It's sadistic, if not to Terri, then to those who love her.

But we have to draw a line here, and that line is the law.

The governor and the President have done all that they can do within the law. They cannot execute any action not authorized by current law or by action of the legislative branch. Neither can they use the law-enforcement resources at their command to simply overrule a judge's decision. Governor Bush swore an oath to uphold and enforce the law, even those with which he disagrees, and he has done his best to create law to allow him to act in this circumstance. He was not successful.

In our haste to save an innocent life, we cannot demand that our executives turn into dictators for just a few moments. Dictatorships don't work that way, and neither do democracies. Imagine what would happen if Jeb Bush took Reverend Mahoney's advice. Terri's life might be saved -- for a week or two. Snatching Terri illegally from the hospice and holding her somewhere in violation of a court order would result in Bush's impeachment, and likely federal intervention in Florida. The state police probably would refuse the illegal order anyway. If Bush did take Terri, she would be right back to where she was last Friday as soon as the rule of law returned to Florida -- which would mean she would once again start the process of dehydration as soon as that happened.

We cannot allow our passions for Terri and the Schindlers to overload our respect for the law which protects us from an overpowerful executive branch. Reverend Mahoney calls for little less than an armed coup d'etat in Florida, one in which Bush would make both the legislature and the judiciary completely irrelevant by the use of force. I cannot imagine a more dangerous and terrible outcome from this tragedy than that, especially since in the end it will have only the effect of momentarily delaying Terri's torturous death.

It's time to cool the passions and start praying for mercy.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 25, 2005 7:39 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Governor Bush Must Uphold The Law:

» A Step Too Far from Slublog
This morning on Fox, a representative of the Schiavo family called on Governor Jeb Bush to send in the state troopers and rescue Terri Schiavo. While I can understand the emotion that leads to this sort of suggestion, I do... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 10:51 AM

» Terri Schiavo and Extraordinary Efforts from Hennessy's View
I have to agree with Ed Morrissey on this: Governor Bush has done all he can do, and he must not violate the law to save Terri Schiavo. That might sound callous, but staying within the law is now our last refuge. As Thomas More told Will Roper i... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 10:52 AM

» The Rule of Law - Schiavo from Another Rovian Conspiracy - St Wendeler
Imagine if a Democratic Governor were to send in the State Troopers on Michael Schiavo's request, at the urging of Oliver Willis, DailyKos, & Co, to pull the feeding tube and make sure she died... We would be screaming from the rooftops about the jac... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 11:28 AM

» Yes from Yippee-Ki-Yay!

Captain Ed says, among other things, basically what I said here.
There comes a time when we have to assume that Terri's fate, however repugnant we may find it and the judicial misfeasance/malfeasance that has led to it, is God's wil...

[Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 11:50 AM

» A letter to Mr. Schiavo. from OC Chronicle
if you had said to her: "If you were not comatose, not on a respirator, only needed a feeding tube to stay alive, did not have any cognitive ability but your mere presence, the look in your eyes, that fact that you were still alive, even in this stat... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 1:17 PM

» Anarchy? from MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Is that what some people are asking for? Captain Ed has posted what I've been thinking about quite a bit lately--that there are limits to what Governor Bush (and certainly President Bush) can do to save Terri Schiavo. I put up a post last night a... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 1:58 PM

» Should the U.S. Government be concerned with Terr from This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns
"In her dying process". That is such a natural and beautiful thing, isn't it? What Felos forgot to mention about all those starving millions, is most of them reside in Africa. [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 2:09 PM

» Defiance of Congress must not stand from Error Theory
Judicial power is checked by the inherent feebleness of the judicial branch: that it possesses “neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment,” and “is in continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed, or influenced by its co-ordinate... [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 3:03 PM

» The Process Is Not God from The Dread Pundit Bluto
Unfortunately, "the rule of law" is morally neutral. It will serve great evil as readily as it serves great good. [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 3:09 PM

» Schiavo Case from Ghahre Pascale
The Captain's thoughts on the Schiavo case reflect my own. [Read More]

Tracked on March 25, 2005 3:44 PM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!