Deciding Terri's Fate

Hi all,

As I write this, we have not yet heard the judge's decision in the Terri Schiavo (search) case. You heard one of the guests on my show Monday predict that this federal court judge will agree the prior court decisions, and deny the emergency stay that would reinsert Terri's feeding tube.

But as you may already know, lawyers are standing by to appeal this to the next highest court, the federal appeals court in Atlanta. After that, they're ready to go to the U.S.Supreme Court (search). I'm told an appeal will happen almost immediately if the federal judge in Tampa says "no" to the stay. But how long can Terri hold on while the respective parties battle it out? She's been without food or water since Friday afternoon.

As for whether Congress (and the president) have any business being in the middle of this, your e-mails are deeply divided:

Article 3 of the Constitution clearly states that the courts 'shall have appellate jurisdiction... with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.' Of course it is their business.
—Dede Courtine, Ashville, New York

The First Amendment of our Constitution states, 'Congress shall make no law prohibiting the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances.' Mr. and Mrs. Schindler, Terri Schiavo's parents, have a grievance... Don't Terri Schiavo's parents have a right to have their grievances heard by the representatives of THE PEOPLE?...
— Laurine Rogers, Urbandale, Iowa

What Congress did... really scares me. If this action stands, what will Congress do next in the interest of 'what is best for us'. I am a Conservative Republican but I am ashamed of what the Republican leadership did...
—S. Paxton, West Virginia

Well, let's see what happens in Tampa — and we'll take it from there. But in the meantime, please avoid this heartache for your own family and get a living will. You can easily obtain one — complete with simple directions at

See you Tuesday.


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