Attorney Who Aided Terri Schiavo’s Husband Now Advising Barack Obama
by Steven Ertelt
December 7, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – An attorney who won an award for representing Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife is now an advisor to the transition team of incoming president Barack Obama.
Thomas Perrelli, who raised over $500,000 for the pro-abortion presidential candidate and is the managing partner of a Washington law firm, Jenner & Block LLP, is helping advise Obama on putting together a Justice Department team.
However, Perrelli provided Michael Schiavo with legal advice during his response to the Congressional bill that President Bush signed allowing the Schindler family to take their lawsuit seeking to prevent Terri’s euthanasia death from state to federal courts.
Perrelli led the Jenner & Block team that developed the legal briefs opposing appeals for Michael and he ultimately received the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award in October 2006 for representing Terri’s former husband at no cost.
On Michael’s legal team, Perrelli worked with infamous pro-euthanasia attorney George Felos as well as lawyers from the Florida chapter of the ACLU.
Obama’s selection of Perrelli to participate on his Justice Department transition team is no surprise given his comments on Terri’s painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death during the presidential campaign.
During his debate with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, Obama said his biggest mistake was voting with a unanimous Senate to help save Terri.
In March 2005, just weeks before Terri died, Congress approved legislation allowing her family to take its case from state courts to federal courts in an effort to stop the euthanasia from proceeding.
Terri was not on any artificial breathing apparatus and only required a feeding tube to eat and drink. Her family had filed a lawsuit against her former husband to allow them to care for her and give her proper medical and rehabilitative care.
The Senate unanimously approved a compromise bill, which the House eventually supported on a lopsided bipartisan vote and President Bush signed, to help the disabled woman.
Obama said he should have stood up against the life-saving legislation.
“It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped,” Obama said.
“And I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that that was a mistake. And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better,” he added.
That wasn’t the first time Obama said he regretted supporting the bill to protect the disabled woman.
During an April 2007 debate, Obama said, "I think professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us, including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn’t have.”
"And I think I should have stayed in the Senate and fought more for making sure [Terri’s parents couldn’t take their case to federal court to save her life]," he explained.
Since Terri’s death, the Schindler family has established a foundation to help disabled and elderly patients obtain proper medical care and legal and other assistance when they are denied it.
Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – http://www.terrisfight.org
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