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Published: Thursday, 3/24/2005

Shameful meddling in Schiavo case

This shameful meddling by congressional Republicans into the agonizing right-to-die case of Terri Schiavo has nothing to do with Terri and her final wishes and everything to do with polishing Jeb Bush's image with ultra-conservatives to prep him for a 2008 presidential run.

Does Congress really think it has the free time or the jurisdiction to review, interpret, and intervene in every similar case in the nation? Of course not. I hazard to guess that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands each year. That's certainly not its charter. Family courts deal effectively with these cases every day.

No, this disgraceful grandstanding is all about politics and tossing bones to the "one-issue" extremists who can spin the sad, extremely personal "straw" of this woman's sad plight (which is really none of our collective business) into political gold and buy red state votes.

For a political party that casts itself as anti-big government and proponents of a downsized bureaucracy, the GOP has sure been in our face lately, micromanaging everything from professional sports to the intimate conversations of a man and his wife. They make Democrats seem positively laissez-faire.

David A. Hopson

Brookford Drive

President Bush is trying to promote a "culture of life" in the Terri Shiavo right-to-die issue.

Where is his so-called "culture of life" when it comes to the 1,500-plus healthy service people who have died in his two-year occupation of Iraq?

How does he explain to their families the justification for keeping alive a woman in a vegetative state, while continuing to send their mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, et al to be put in harm's way.

Where was his "culture of life" when as governor of Texas he executed more Death Row inmates than ever before in that state's history? Have we become Animal Farm, where some people are more equal than others?

Mary Weiss

Sylvania

Once again, President Bush and the Republican Party have proven themselves to be quite the hypocrites. They race to pass legislation in an attempt to save the life of Terri Schiavo. These actions would be commendable if there were a way to perform a medical miracle and bring her back to a normal existence.

However, when it comes to miracles, conservatives in this country continue to rely only on faith. The science of medicine is being ignored - science such as stem-cell research. If the Republicans are so concerned with embracing life, they should be applauding stem-cell research and its possibilities.

Also suffering is the American judicial system. The Schiavo case has been in every court in Florida for 10 years and the rulings have all generally favored removal of the feeding tube. For the legislative branch to create a law that steps on the judicial branch is ridiculous. The more partisan and out-of-control Congress appears, the more power and respect its members will continue to lose with constituents.

I feel extremely sorry that the whole Schiavo family has been caught up in this huge national debate. It's a personal family issue and President Bush, Tom DeLay, and company should have stayed out of it. I thought the Republican Party stood for smaller government - not intruding in people's lives. I guess that ideology has gone out the window. The religious radicals have obviously taken over.

Nick Rokicki

North Haven Avenue

I imagine that Scott Peterson wishes that he lived in Florida instead of California. He would probably figure that if he did, he would have had a chance to legally get away with the murder of his wife. Peterson was obsessed with getting rid of his wife in order to carry on in his self-centered life with another woman, and there is much evidence to suggest that Michael Schiavo has the same obsession and motive, along with the same willingness to lie about it. Aside from the legalities, I see no real difference between the two men.

It is my heartfelt prayer that legal efforts to save the life of Terri Schiavo succeed, and that Mr. Schiavo is prevented from completing his diabolical scheme to get rid of her. It is also my prayer that Terri undergoes a miracle of recovery, the possibility of which Mr. Schiavo is no doubt aware of and fears more than anything.

Robert J. Welch III

Fostoria, Ohio

I think the Terri Schiavo case has brought into focus just how out of control the judiciary in our country has become. They have set themselves above not only the people they are sworn to serve, but even the legislative and executive branches of our government. I think it's ironic that they accuse Congress of acting unconstitutionally when they, on a daily basis, act to violate the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country.

They deny people the right to due process, the right to a trial by jury, the right to appeal, and the right to live securely in the pursuit of happiness without threat of judicial disruption and destruction of their lives. And they do this under protection of the doctrine of total judicial immunity which they legislated for themselves from the bench.

It does my heart good to see the legislative and executive branches of the government, just for a change, step in and say, "You have gone too far. We will not let this stand."

Regardless of whether, in this instance, it is the correct thing to do (and I personally feel it is), it is a significant change from the norm where the legislative and executive branches cower in the background while the judiciary interprets the Constitution to suit its own self righteousness or even refuses to acknowledge the Constitution in its decisions.

Judicial accountability legislation that will be introduced in Ohio will eliminate the doctrine of total immunity for the judiciary. It will give citizens of Ohio the means to confront, punish, and even remove judges who abuse their station, corrupt their office, and trample beneath their feet the constitutionally protected rights of Ohio's citizens.

Rick Scarberry

Napoleon, Ohio

Wouldn't it be sadly ironic if grandstanding politicians succeed in having Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reinstated and then proceed to pass their fearless leader's budget, thereby slashing funding to health care and social programs needed for her care?

I wonder how many weeping protesters will picket her nursing home when that happens.

Barbara Padgett

Heatherdowns Boulevard

I have always found myself torn between the Republican and Democratic parties because they both match my views on certain issues. Overall the pendulum has usually swung toward the Republican Party. This ended with the Supreme Court decision making G.W. Bush president. I knew then this was a sign that this Republican administration would do anything, moral or not, legal or not, to further its ultra-right agenda.

Their antics to subpoena Terri Schiavo before Congress, a shameful tactic to subvert the will of the courts, was already too much to believe. Their actions to return hundreds of representatives from Easter break, at enormous taxpayer expense, to legislate the fate of one single person is so reprehensible that the shock of it still hasn't sunk in. Believe me, based on my views on most issues, the last thing I would be considered is a liberal.

Maybe I don't fit in with either party because I cast my votes based on my beliefs, regardless of the D or R next to a name. But after witnessing the endless abuses of our democratic system and the Constitution by the Republicans, I would never be able to live with myself if I cast a vote for any R candidate again.

Mark Harrell

Maumee

The "right to life president" puts his imprimatur on extending the life of a woman whose husband and legal guardian is attempting to act on her behalf, while hundreds wait in Death Rows all across the country to die in the electric chair.

Be consistent, Mr. President.

Martha Berry

Waterville



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