Terri’s Parents File Amicus Briefs to Defend "Terri’s Law"

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 7, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri’s Parents File Amicus Briefs to Defend "Terri’s Law"

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 7, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — Though a judge prohibited them from being a part of defending "Terri’s Law" from a lawsuit by Michael Schiavo, Bob and Mary Schindler filed amicus briefs Thursday backing the law and another asking him to reconsider the decision.

The brief asks Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird to reconsider his decision disallowing the Schindlers to intervene in the case saying they have sufficient legal interest in the case to defend the constitutionality of Terri’s Law.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life law firm, filed the brief on behalf of the Schindlers.

"The court should permit the Schindlers to be directly involved in this case," said Jay Sekulow, the firm’s chief counsel. "It is the life of their daughter that is at stake in these proceedings."

In case the judge doesn’t reconsider his decision, the firm has also filed an amicus brief urging him to declare the law valid.

"In an effort to ensure that the position of the Schindlers is heard by the court, we have also filed an amicus brief on their behalf defending the constitutionality of the actions of the legislature and the Governor," Sekulow said.

Attorneys for Florida Governor Jeb Bush have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit saying that it is constitutional.

The parents’ brief says both the legislature and the Governor acted properly and constitutionally in passing "Terri’s Law."

"The courts have acted as they were the only government entity to be concerned about the outcome of Terri’s case," Sekulow concluded. 

"The fact is that Florida law and constitution are clear: the legislature is the policy making body and has the authority to set and review standards — including standards dealing with the protection of human life. The state and Governor had a clear, compelling, and constitutional interest in passing and implementing ‘Terri’s Law.’  We’re hopeful the court will uphold that action."

George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate who is Michael’s attorney, filed the brief along with lawyers from the ACLU, who joined the case recently.

"It argues that her constitutional right to refuse medical treatment was, in essence, cast aside by a statute that allows the governor to do that under any whim and without any standards and without any review," said Felos.

Related web sites:
Terri’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org