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Judicial homicide

This was a distressing week for the sanctity of life in America.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in the life-and-death struggle surrounding Terri Schindler-Schiavo, a brain-disabled Florida woman who has been condemned to death by her estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, and his “right to die” cohorts simply because she requires a feeding tube for sustenance. With other legal options quickly running out, the high court’s inaction effectively constitutes Terri’s death sentence.

Coincidentally, the denial came down just days after the 32nd anniversary of the court’s Roe v. Wade decision that paved the way for America’s first holocaust. Is the timing accidental, or does it foreshadow another holocaust in the making?

By rejecting the case, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that declared “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional. “Terri’s Law” was approved by the Florida Legislature in October 2003 in response to a ruling by Circuit Court Judge George Greer ordering Terri’s feeding tube removed. The emergency legislation granted Gov. Jeb Bush the authority to intercede and once more provide food and water for Terri, who had already been subjected to six days without sustenance and was experiencing the painful side effects caused by prolonged starvation and dehydration.

Michael Schiavo wasted no time in challenging the Legislature’s life-saving measure, leading to a ruling in September by the Florida Supreme Court that struck down the law as an unconstitutional breach of the separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches of government. Gov. Bush later appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court under the contention that the decision violated Terri’s 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection.

But as of Monday, it’s obvious that some in our nation’s top court are no longer interested in upholding such protections, at least when they apply to the life of a brain-disabled woman.

The Supreme Court made no comment in refusing to consider the case, but the implications are clear. With legal options all but exhausted, Bob Schindler, Terri’s father, appropriately labeled the decision “judicial homicide.” Bush’s attorney Ken Connor echoed that sentiment, stating that in Florida “convicted capital felons receive more due process protection than Terri Schiavo has received in this case.”

Should that really surprise us? Select members of our nation’s judiciary have been depriving basic rights to life and liberty for decades now, especially to those who have no voice to speak for themselves. Convicted serial killers are viewed as misunderstood individuals who merely require psychological counseling and rehabilitation, but the brain-disabled are condemned to death for failing to meet some arbitrary “quality of life” standard.

With the courts valuing murderers and rapists more than the weakest and most innocent among us, I’m afraid the notion of an impartial judiciary has gone the way of the dinosaur. Furthering a so-called progressive political agenda is now more important than upholding what the Constitution actually states.

None of the judicial debauchery currently surrounding Terri would exist if the courts actually examined the facts. Contrary to false portrayals in the media, Terri is not a vegetable or houseplant. She is physically stable and receives no life support or respiration; she attempts to communicate and purposefully interact with other individuals; she has two loving parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, who are willing to sacrifice everything in order to give her the care and medical attention she deserves; and most importantly, she is a human being created in the image of God with unnalienable rights protected by the Constitution.

But Terri’s medical condition is not the only aspect the courts are glossing over – they are also ignoring Michael Schiavo’s glaring conflict of interest in providing her with adequate medical care. He remains legally married to her while shacking up with his girlfriend (I believe that’s commonly referred to as adultery) and refuses to divorce Terri and surrender her guardianship to the Schindlers.

In addition, Michael has continually denied his wife rehabilitation despite winning a sizeable malpractice suit in 1992 that was designed to provide her with medical treatment. Instead of using the funds for treatment, he has exhausted almost three-fourths on attorney fees he incurred while fighting to end her life, including nearly $400,000 paid to George Felos, a New Age lawyer who’s quickly attaining rock star status in the “right to die” movement.

Does that strike you as a loving, committed husband who has his wife’s best interests at heart? Some members of our judiciary think so, and that highlights a disturbing reality. More than three decades have passed since the Roe decision, but the cancerous judicial philosophy that favors death over life is still chipping away at our nation’s soul. We’re dangerously close to the bottom of the moral sewer when death by starvation and dehydration is considered more beneficial than allowing a woman the opportunity to be cared for by her loving family.

It’s not merciful. It’s not painless. It’s not “death with dignity.”

It’s death by judicial homicide.

David N. Bass is a 19-year-old Christian homeschool graduate who writes for World Newspaper Publishing and is a regular columnist at AmericanDaily.com, IntellectualConservative.com and RenewAmerica.us. While attending college, he interns at a pro-family public-policy organization. Bass is currently working on his first novel.