Congress to Intervene Yet Again in Schiavo Case
Congress is apparently ready to pass a law moving the Schiavo case, and only the Schiavo case, to federal court.
Congressional leaders said Saturday they reached a compromise that would call on federal courts to decide Terri Schiavo’s fate, as emotions swelled outside the hospice where the brain-damaged woman spent her second day without a feeding tube.
Congressional leaders announced a compromise that would allow the brain-damaged woman’s case to be reviewed by federal courts that could restore her feeding tube. The legislation may be considered as early as Sunday, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said. “We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being,” said DeLay, R-Texas. “That’s the very least we can do for her.” The measure would effectively take Schiavo’s fate out of Florida state courts, where judges ordered the feeding tube removed on Friday, and allow Schiavo’s parents to take their case to a federal judge. DeLay said that would likely mean restoration of the feeding tube “for as long as this appeal endures.” Bush spokesman Jeanie Mamo said the White House remains “supportive of the efforts by congressional leaders.”
Despite assertions to the contrary, this isn’t technically a bill of attainder, since this isn’t a criminal case and the courts will ultimately decide the issue. Still, passing legislation that affects only a single person is a terrible abuse of legislative power.