Schiavo's Parents Excluded From Legal Battle

A judge on Tuesday denied a bid by the parents of a severely brain-damaged woman to intervene in the legal battle over a hastily passed state law that empowered Gov. Jeb Bush (search) to keep her alive.

Terri Schiavo's (search) husband is challenging the law that allowed Bush to order her feeding tube reinserted six days after the husband had it removed.

The American Center for Law & Justice, founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson (search), sought to intervene on behalf of Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who want the feeding continued.

Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird rejected the motion, but allowed the conservative law firm to file a friend-of-the-court brief. The firm issued a release calling the decision "unfortunate."

Michael Schiavo has been battling in court for years to carry out what he says is his wife's wish not to be kept alive artificially.

The Schindlers have said their daughter expressed no such wishes and is not in a permanent vegetative state, as a probate judge has declared. They say she is responsive and could improve with therapy.

Terri Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when her heart temporarily stopped because of a chemical imbalance. Doctors have said she has no hope for recovery from a vegetative state.

George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, called Baird's decision "sensible," saying that the woman's parents had no legal place in a constitutional argument.

Schiavo's lawyers contend "Terri's Law" violates the state constitution, infringing on Terri Schiavo's right to privacy and the constitution's separation of power provisions

A hearing on the guardianship of Terri Schiavo is set for Wednesday afternoon before Circuit Judge George Greer.