Florida Gov. Jeb Bush could face a constitutional showdown for his decision to use a special law to order Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s feeding tube restored, but he received support today from the president.
“I believe my brother made the right decision,” President Bush said at a Rose Garden news conference this morning.
President Bush at Rose Garden news conference this morning
The president was responding to a series of wide-ranging questions by reporters and had no further comments on the Schiavo case.
Michael Schiavo, who appeared on the Larry King Show last night, has been in a decade-long battle with his in-laws, Robert and Mary Schindler, over the fate of his wife, who suffered massive brain damage when she collapsed at her home 13 years ago under disputed circumstances at the age of 26. Schiavo insists Terri previously told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially if such circumstances were ever to arise.
Michael had Terri’s life-sustaining feeding tube removed Oct. 15 through a court order, but six days later, Florida lawmakers delivered Gov. Bush special legislation empowering him to order it reinserted.
George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s attorney, called the legislation “absurdly unconstitutional” and maintains Terri has a right under the Florida Constitution to not be kept alive artificially.
Some legal scholars agree, contending the legislators and the governor overstepped their bounds in defying the judicial system. Felos is seeking to bring the case before the Florida Supreme Court.
Michael Schiavo and his attorneys argue Terri is in a “persistent vegetative state,” but the Schindlers point to the opinions of numerous physicians and to videotaped evidence that Terri is responsive and aware her life is in danger.
Two days before the feeding tube was removed, the Schindlers released a videotape they believe provides convincing evidence Terri is not in the comatose condition her husband and his attorneys portray.