Saturday, March 26, 2005
I hate to re-post before many people have had the chance to read yesterday's important post, but a woman's life in hanging in the balance. If need be, I will change the date to bring that post to the front again when Terri's situation has been resolved.
After listening to everything presented in the media, I decided to look into actual Florida Law and the Florida Constitution. Turns out Governor Bush has the clear authority to handle this, without interference from any courts. He further has the authority to demand justification in writing for decisions the courts have made.
With regard to the authority to demand justification, Florida's Constitution, in Article IV, Section 1, states, "The governor may require information in writing from all executive or administrative state, county or municipal officers upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices." Mr. Bush has the clear authority to demand that the courts justify in writing these decisions, and he has the authority to initiate judicial proceedings against the judges in question. ("The governor may initiate judicial proceedings in the name of the state against any executive or administrative state, county or municipal officer to enforce compliance with any duty or restrain any unauthorized act."). Where I live, we call that "pressing charges" or "suing someone".
Florida statutory law, Title IV, 14.01 authorizes the governor to "protect life, liberty, and property", and further lays out a process for doing so. All he really has to do is declare the situation an emergency, order nourishment to be resumed, and post notices in the buildings and areas that affect Terri (Title IV, 14.021). He could then easily demand that a thorough investigation into the matter, including investigation into the activities and motivations of Michael Schiavo, reasonable hearings regarding the wishes of Mrs. Schiavo, and statements made by people who have treated her and provided various health services, and most importantly, a FULL examination of her situation by qualified medical doctors including actual MRI/PET scans that would shed light on the situation. All of these rights have been denied Terri so far.
So, Governor Bush, I implore you to exercise your powers to save a life. It is required of you by your state's Constitution, and process is outlined in statute. Can you really allow the courts to starve a woman to death on he basis of her health when there hasn't even been a thorough assessment of said health? That's really all anyone is asking for.