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Will Terri live to fight another day?
Terri Schiavo has a real chance to be spared the death-by-vicious-starvation penalty today. Many of us are praying to God for exactly that, some of us are acting affirmatively to keep her husband from murdering her with the help of the Florida judiciary. The U.S. House of Representatives has issued a subpoena requiring Terri, her husband and her doctors to appear before a House committee sitting in Washington. Federal law is clear in making it a serious crime to do anything that harms or kills a person under Congressional Subpoena, and considering that the Speaker of the House personally arranged for the subpoena, and our President backs Terri’s right to live, it is safe to assume that disobedience of the subpoena will result in Federal criminal charges against Terri’s "husband" and her "doctors" -- the conspirators in this evil plot to kill a woman based on self-serving hearsay and demonstrably false medical "evidence."
"The Congress is working on a law that would open the Federal courts to Terri, but it is not done. At this point, then, the Congressional subpoena is Terri’s last best hope."
The Florida Senate stalled on legislation that would, if passed certainly have kept Terri alive and would have withstood Constitutional scrutiny. Nothing will be done until next Tuesday. The Congress is working on a law that would open the Federal courts to Terri, but it is not done. At this point, then, the Congressional subpoena is Terri’s last best hope. The Florida court that ordered Terri to be executed by starvation has scheduled a hearing in order to determine if the Congressional subpoena has any effect in Florida. That hearing’s purpose astounds me. Last I heard, Florida was part of the United States of America, and Federal law is clear. If this judge is stupid enough to find that Mr. Schiavo and his crony doctors are not bound by that subpoena, the Congress should take immediate action to ask the President to enforce the subpoena. Federal marshals should then be ordered to take custody of Terri and ensure her safety for the trip to Washington. Judicial immunity probably protects the judge from prosecution for contempt of Congress.
There is also the possibility that, even if the order comes down that the subpoena does not supersede the judge’s order permitting (but not requiring) the feeding tube to be removed, Mr. Schiavo will not want to risk doing hard Federal time for contempt of Congress. He just may leave the tube in even though he has the technical legal right in Florida to starve his wife to death. There are other things that may be done. The Florida Department of Children and families wanted time from the court to investigate whether Terri has been abused. It would seem to me that, even though extta time for the investigation has been denied, they could speed up their investigation and arrive at that conclusion. The evidence is certainly ample to support such a finding. With that finding, they could immediately act to take custody and guardianship of Terri away from her "husband" and give it to her parents, and if that abuse appears to violate the criminal laws of Florida, they could charge Mr. Schiavo and the complicit doctors with criminal abuse.
So keep on praying. The House subpoena will save Terri’s life for now, but it will take God to protect Terri on an ongoing basis. By the way, it won’t hurt to write a rousing letter of support to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Congressman Tom DeLay and Congressman Tom Davis. These heroes are trying to keep a conscious and aware woman alive. They deserve our thanks and support.