The Schiavo Coda

We learn from the autopsy:

  • Schiavo's brain was about half the size of a normal brain, damaged beyond any possible hope of recovery.
  • There are no signs that she was abused (by her husband or otherwise) as some had claimed, though it remains unclear what caused her to fall into a vegetative state in the first place.
  • Remember those carfully edited clips that purported to show Schiavo following a balloon with her eyes? Well, turns out she was blind.

Does it matter? Probably not: I expect most people put the whole circus out of their minds long ago, while for the true believers, this is doubtless just further evidence of how elaborate and sinister is the anti-life conspiracy to hide the "truth."

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  • ||

    Any second now someone is going to claim the damage to her brain was caused by the removal of the feeding tube.

  • ||

    I think you just did...

  • ||

    "Any second now someone is going to claim the damage to her brain was caused by the removal of the feeding tube."

    I've seen a claim that it shrank due to the dehydration.

  • ||

    Her husband wasn't a public figure. He should sue Hannity, Frist, DeLay, Fox, CNN, etc., for saying that he killed her, more or less.

    Either they said it outright, or they allowed others to say it, or they used the "some say" gimmick popular on cable news.

  • drf||

    and don't forget about what could have thrown her into the coma/vegetative state: the low blood sodium. that's scary stuff. that's also an evil of the more terrible bacterial pneumonia strains.

  • ||

    Remember those carfully edited clips that purported to show Schiavo following a balloon with her eyes? Well, turns out she was blind.

    Oh come on. I mean Stevie Wonder was watching the Spurs-Pistons game yesterday, why is this so ludicrous?

  • ||

    Remember those carfully edited clips that purported to show Schiavo following a balloon with her eyes? Well, turns out she was blind.

    No, she was seeing with her Jesus Eyes.

  • ||

    Does it matter?

    Absolutely. Michael Schivo took a lot of personal attacks by sticking to his wife's wishes, you know, family values, something highly touted by the right until a pro-life agenda trumps it. If the guy hadn't been to hell and back with the Bush Bro's and Delay on his back for the last leg, I would think he should file a libel lawsuit against Faux News, the GOP, and all the conservative organizations that accused him of spousal abuse among other offensive labels.

    However, I am sure Michael is ready to put it all behind him now that he is fully vindicated. Unless of course, the right now determines the medical examiner is unfit due to liberal bias with a pro-death agenda!

  • ||

    Pro-tube contingent (eyes shut, hands over ears): Lalalalalalala! Can't hear you! Let the EEEEEAGLE SOARRRRRRR!

  • ||

    JonH you just got us both evites to hell: you, writing the joke, me for the eruption of laughter that has everyone staring at me at work.

    Edward Price .... Virginia to Brooklyn to Los Angeles

  • ||

    BattleAx, I'm glad I could help you on your way.

    You might need one of these.

  • ||

    A Schiavo thread without Gunnels just doesn't feel right, somehow.

  • ||

    I was just thinking the same thing, Thoreau. And I'm trying to remember--other than Billy Ray, which posters were for keeping her on the tube? I'd like to hear from them.

  • ||

    Well, you know how it is, you shouldn't confuse people with the facts when their minds are made up...

  • ||

    Jennifer-

    I think there were a few others besides Billy Ray, but he was certainly the leader of the pack. And Gunnels was always there to stand against him.

    At least you've returned!

  • ||

    i think i would like a pro-lifer better if they chose to ignore this evidence. after all, this was never in serious question, even while she was alive. someone should either decide to consider all medical evidence or ignore it all... no sense in only considering facts if an autopsy is involved.

  • Larry A||

    My favorite part of the show was the RTL folks labeling the judges who refused to intervene as "activist" because they didn't act.

  • ||

    There's a pretty obvious argument for the tubers: Sure, we can know these things for certain now, but there was no way to prove them while she was alive. Back then, the evidence was much less definitive. There was some doubt, and when there's doubt, we need to err on the side of life.

  • ||

    Zach,

    Good point. That approach would also have the advantage of avoiding blatantly dishonest gambits like claiming Teresa cried"I Want To Live!" before the tube was removed.

  • ||

    I think that the autopsy results are meaningless to the argument of many in the pro-tube crowd. From some of the things I read before and after her death, Ms. Schaivo's condition and chances of recovery were irrelevant to the argument of keeping her alive.

  • ||

    Who said you could use the term "anti-life"?

  • ||

    It's not true that all the judges were only passively following the law, as Larry A. claims. The Florida legislature passed the so-called "Terri's Law" in order to keep Terri on the feeding tube, and the courts declared the law to be in violation of the Florida constitution. Whether you agree or disagree with that decision, it was clearly "activist" rather than passive.

  • The Owner's Manual||

    Help me out here, James. Is being a strict constructionist activist?

  • Darkseid||

    Actually, Ayn, the Anti-Life equation is MINE!
    HA HA HA HA (the stars shudder)

  • ||

    It was clearly "active" rather than "passive." No doubt about that.

    Whether it crossed the line into "activist" territory is a can of worms, and in reality it can only be resolved if you are familiar with the FL state constitution. Since I am not familiar with the document, I can't comment.

  • ||

    According to the actual definition of "judicial activism," any action taken by a judge that changes the law or its application is activism. If a strict Constructionist throws out a law that Congress passed and the President signed, on the gorunds that James Madison didn't address that specific circumstance, that is an act of judicial activism.

    Of course, that's not how the term has come to be used. In its modern meaning, "judicial activism" refers to actions courts take to throw out laws or cases that the Right likes, and also to actions in which courts strictly conform to written laws that the Right doesn't like.

  • fyodor||

    joe,

    Where do you get your "actual definition" of "judicial activism"?

  • ||

    Ayn Rand versus Darkseid. There's a demented little comic in the making...

  • ||

    "Activist" is definitely a pejorative term these days, but the definition of an activist judicial decision that I had in mind, which seemed to be Larry A.'s as well, would be something like "a decision overturning a law passed by the legislature (or by referendum) instead of letting the law operate as it normally would." There have obviously been some occasions when activism was justified and others when it was not.

  • ||

    All: the Florida Supreme Court did not behave as an "activist" body when it struck Terri's Law as unconstitutional. The law was hastily passed and fatally flawed in many respects, which is why the Florida Supremes unanimously and in a single opinion -- this so seldom happens, not one of the seven dissented from the reasoning enough to even draft a concurring opinion merely joining in the result -- tossed it out.

    Among other things, that law purported to invest power in the FL governor's office that violated the separation of powers doctrine -- the legislature gave far too much decision-making capacity to the Executive branch with no clear instructions as to how the Governor was to proceed. That is just one fatal flaw.

    There were many other infirmities, which can you read of at this Florida lawyer's blog -- the best and most comprehensive Schiavo history, with most of the relevant legal documents linked to, is at Abstract Appeal.

  • ||

    No, she was seeing with her Jesus Eyes.

    God DAMN, that's funny...

  • ||

    Judicial Activism is defined by those judges who choose to fuck with me and my agenda or subvert my supiorority in attempts to diminish my political capital, pure and simple. For example, the judge who upheld the ban on DDT is an activist.

  • ||

    As mentioned above, the autopsy doesn't change the debate at all, since one can't use this type of data proactively.

    Since there was no written documentation of her wishes, it boiled down entirely to he said/she said, with the husband versus the parents.

    Before the case was famous, the courts clearly and correctly applied the law.

    However, since this case dragged on for years, and Michael changed his efforts from keeping her alive to having her die, this opened up the argument that the facts of the case had changed, and perhaps Michael was no longer the best person to be her guardian. It gets ugly because only the original trial court can establish points of fact. The appeals courts simply determine if the law was followed.

    The courts were conservative in their refusal to rehear the facts of the case. The US Congress exercised its Constitutional authority over Jurisdiction to grant the Federal Courts the power to rehear the facts of the case. The Courts declined.

    Personally, I think the Courts ignored the clear intent of Congress by refusing to rehear the facts of the case. I suppose that makes them passive-activist. However, it was clearly within their power to do so.

  • Jeff||

    DeSaad and Granny Goodness would have made excellent Ayn Rand characters.
    I agree with a lot of what Bubba says. But it must be pointed out that, aside from the legal tennents, this was the case where the bio-conservatives declared that a brain dried and shrunken to the size of a baby's fist possessed some undefined "human dignity," and that the ability to live on after every scrap of intellect, hope, joy, and passion has been wrung from said brain was a "divine gift."

    These people are monsters.

  • ||

    This is the url for Abstract Appeal: http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html

    I know how to use tags, but could not get them to work to link to Abstract Appeal. Is there some trick to posting a link at this site?

  • ||

    I suppose that makes them passive-activist I'm not criticizing your words, Bubba, just pointing out that these are indeed Orwellian times.

  • ||

    this was the case where the bio-conservatives declared that a brain dried and shrunken to the size of a baby's fist possessed some undefined "human dignity,"

    They had to say that, because the brain of the person they helped elect last year met the same characteristics.

    Thank you! I'm here all week!

  • ||

    OK, this may be kinda inappropriate, but I've been wanting to get in touch with the poster Thoreau, (since finding out about him being a doctor and an expert on light sabers and all...) but since he only gives as his email "mind your own business" I have to ask him out here in public if he's willing to talk to me.

    Thoreau, my email is Jumbie40@hotmail.com. Hope to hear from U.

    -Jumbie

  • ||

    I thought Mona was the anti-drug legalization troll, now she's giving legal documentation references?

    is Mona Gunnels? in drag?

  • ||

    Bubba: It is far less than clear -- and in fact unlikely -- that Terri's Law II was intended to give federal courts jurisdiction to rehear the relevant issues pertaining to Terri. De novo review does not entail that; the appellate court simply takes the record generated below and reconsiders it "anew" as to facts. But it is not an opportunity for further testimony.

    With apologies for seemingly being unable to figure tag formatting for linkin at H&R, go here: http://abstractappeal.com/archives/2005_03_01_abstractappeal_archive.html#111170687561063030

    to read about what Congress lkely did, and did not, charge the federal courts to do.

    I would also note that while you are correct that appellate courts do not generally conduct de novo review as to facts, and that the FL state courts did not do so formally in the Schaivo case, informally, they did. It was mere dicta, but politically significant dicta, when the state appellate court declared, after considering the record below and watching a 4 hour video of Terri, that if charged to, it would have reached the same decision regarding the facts as did the trial court. You can read about all that, too, at Abstract Appeal.

  • R C Dean||

    Judicial activism does not consist of applying the Constitution as written to throw out unconstitutional laws.

    Judicial activism, to me, consists of judges legislating from the bench, creating new rights and obligations based on judicial authority rather than Constitutional or legislative authority.

    I didn't see much judicial activism in the Schaivo case.

  • ||

    biologist,
    You are incorrect. The anti-drug troll is Juanita.

  • ||

    biologists has me slack-jawed with I thought Mona was the anti-drug legalization troll, now she's giving legal documentation references?

    Moi!? If I hold a religion, it is opposition to the beast that is drug prohibition. I try not to hate other people, but militant drug warriors drive me into a frenzy of loathing.


    And it isn't shocking that I post legal references; as many here know I am an attorney. I've just been gone for a bit, for several reasons, including that my pro-Bush foreign policy views made this a less congenial place for me to hang by the time of the last election cycle. But I used to post here all the time.

  • ||

    ok, sorry I was confused

    mea culpa (I know you lawyerly types love the Latin phrases, as do biologists)

  • ||

    RC Dean writes: "Judicial activism does not consist of applying the Constitution as written to throw out unconstitutional laws."

    But, apparently, it is activism if the judge dares *notice* that the law is unconstitutional in the first place.

  • ||

    Mona,

    You make links in your posts with the "a" (for anchor) tag, like this: <a href="http://www.url.com/Location/page.html">Text to underline</a> more text, not underlined. If you're linking to somewhere on the reason site, you don't need to put in the "http://www.url.com" portion.

  • ||

    Shawn Smith -- thanks, that's the formula I used, and no matter what I did, the thing would not work.

    So here a test, linking to Instapundit

  • ||

    One more time: Instapundit.

  • ||

    Ok, maybe it is my 'puter, but this is the only site where I can not post workable links! How frustrating. Anyone else have this here?

  • ||

    I think you actually use single quotes, not double quotes.

  • ||

    Here, let me try that:

    Single quotes.
    Double quotes.

  • ||

    Hmm, both worked for me.

    I dunno know what to say, Mona. Good to see you back, however.

  • ||

    Mona is the law school kid who's living on low carbs.

  • ||

    A Schiavo thread without Gunnels just doesn't feel right, somehow.

    I beg to differ. List 10 reasons why I shouldn't beg to differ.

  • ||

    Mona is the law school kid who's living on low carbs.

    Ha! I turn 49 tomorrow, and graduated from law school, uh, a while ago. And the carb thing, damn, I'm back up to size 12. So many noodles, so little time.

    I just don't get why I cannot post links here. ARRRGH. I can everywhere else.

  • ||

    link

    Ohhhhhhh. Nowhere else do I have to put the url in quotes. Seems to be necessary here.

  • ||

    Thanks thoreau. I've read here from time to time, and happily noted your Ph.D. -- congrats. And also sadly observed that Pavel died.

    Can you imagine Gary's reaction to it being suspected that I am he? (giggle)

  • ||

    Can you imagine Gary's reaction to it being suspected that I am he? (giggle)

    Just for old time's sake...

    *chuckle* Somebody would have to be pretty dumb to confuse me with an obviously incompetent lawyer like you. I'm going to post a few hundred pages of case law. Until you read all that you clearly have no business talking to me.

    Besides, you still haven't answered my question. In fact, you're changing your story, so you're a liar as well as an incompetent.

  • ||

    And, to be clear, that was just a joke. I have a lot of respect for Mona.

  • ||

    thoreau: That's about right. Gary and I took to each other like the proverbial water and oil. He's very, very bright and encyclopedic in his knowledge, traits I respect -- but we pretty quickly developed, er, issues. I just did not care for his tone and MO, and he didn't like me, either. So, I had to laugh considering how he'd likely respond to anyone thinking my posts were his.

    But he was correct about the whole Schiavo thing, because he agreed with me. ;)

  • ||

    "Mona is the law school kid who's living on low carbs."

    Sounds like a line from "Shaft" (the song).

  • ||

    Dammmmmmn right.

    They say that Mona is one bad mo--

  • ||

    Yeah, I remember someone making a crack that if one wanted to find a particular post, you had to "read between the Gunnels". That broke me up.

    We need more crackpots here to keep things interesting.

  • ||

    'joe,

    Where do you get your "actual definition" of "judicial activism"?'

    Grad school. We had to take a law class.

  • ||

    If you watched the press conference, there was no mention of WHEN she became blind.

  • ||

    ' shut yo mouth '

  • ||

    But I'm talkin' 'bout Mona

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