March 23, 2005

Denied in the overnight hours

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals here in Atlanta denied the appellate motion brought by the parents of Terri Schiavo in a 2-1 decision handed down in the wee hours this morning.

In a 2-1 ruling early Wednesday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that Terri's feeding tube should be reinserted immediately.

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."

In his dissent, Judge Charles R. Wilson said Schiavo's "imminent" death would end the case before it could be fully considered. "In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube," he wrote.

An appeal was still pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether Schiavo's right to due process was violated.

This leaves the US Supreme Court as the only option for the Schindler family. However, the SCOTUS has turned down appellate motions in this case twice before, which does not bode well this time.

Still, the Schindlers have vowed to move forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court some time today.

In the meantime, time continues to tick and health continues to wane for Terri Schiavo, who has been without a feeding tube since last Friday.

Text of the decision from the 11th Circuit can be found in PDF form here.

UPDATE: (12:20P) - Terri's parents have opted to have the entire 11th Circuit Court panel of judges hear the case and respond, as opposed to the three-judge panel which responded early this morning.

Terri's condition continues to worsen. Her tongue is beginning to swell, and she appears to be very ill, on this, her fifth day without food or water.

UPDATE (3:30P) - Word down from the 11th Circuit here that they will not reconsider the Schiavo case. So now the Schneiders will run this up the ladder to the US Supreme Court. The SCOTUS is not likely to consider; though we may get word from Washington before the end of the day.

UPDATE (6:30P) Florida state DCF (Department of Children and Families) officials are considering taking custody of Terri Schiavo and removing her from the hospice where she has been ensconced -- by force if necessary.

Lucy Hadl, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said Wednesday morning that her staff is relying on a state law that gives the department the authority to intervene on behalf of a vulnerable adult who is 'suffering from abuse or neglect that presents a risk of death or serious physical injury.'

Hadl said that the DCF would have to file a petition in order to remove Schiavo, but that 'it doesn't mean we'd have to have judicial approval in advance of taking the action if we believed it met the threshold for doing it.'

Hadl said that seven years of court rulings backing Schiavo's husband Michael, in his contention that Terri Schiavo did not wish to be kept alive artificially would not stop the DCF from taking action.

'We're not compelled to look at prior judicial proceedings,' Hadl said.

Hope springs eternal, but time continues to move inexorably forward.

Posted by mhking at March 23, 2005 08:44 AM
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