Michael Schiavo is trying to block Gov. Jeb Bush from questioning potential witnesses in court in a battle over the fate of the Florida man’s brain-damaged wife, Terri.
In a separate motion, Schiavo asked a circuit court judge to bypass a trial and rule now on his challenge to the constitutionality of “Terri’s law,” passed by the Florida Legislature last month to enable the governor to intervene and order her feeding tube reinserted after it had been removed by a judge’s order.
George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s attorney, charged Bush’s insistence that government intervention is needed in this case has an “Orwellian ring,” the Associated Press reported.
Felos said the motion asked Judge W. Douglas Baird to rule on Michael Schiavo’s lawsuit without having to go through the normal legal process.
The seven witnesses Bush’s attorneys want to depose include Michael Schiavo and his fianc?, Jodi Centonze, with whom he has a child and another on the way.
Schiavo’s lawyers insist the witnesses would be irrelevant to the central issue – the constitutionality of “Terri’s Law.”
Bush is arguing Terri Schiavo’s rights under the Florida Constitution actually are protected under the law, not violated, as her husband contends. His attorneys want a jury trial to determine whether Terri told her husband before her collapse in 1990 she would rather die than be sustained “through artificial means.”
In a motion filed Tuesday, lawyers for Michael Schiavo said the “notion of intent to depose these witnesses is nothing more than an attempt by the governor to reopen guardianship proceedings, something he is not permitted to do in this case.”
WorldNetDaily has reported Terri’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, have been locked in a 10-year battle to keep Michael Schiavo from removing Terri’s life-sustaining feeding tube.
Terri survived six days without hydration and fluids before Florida lawmakers and Gov. Jeb Bush intervened and ordered the tube reinserted.
The Schindlers want to replace Michael Schiavo as Terri’s guardian, but an attempt to enter supporting evidence was blocked by a judge. The Schindlers suspect a bone scan on Terri in March 1991 indicates she was physically abused.