Terri Schiavo Could Have Second Chance if Incumbent Judge Defeated

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Could Have Second Chance if Incumbent Judge Defeated Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 27, 2004

learwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — There have been years of legal battles, legislation passed by the state legislature and efforts by the governor to save Terri Schiavo’s life. But, help could be on the way if a local attorney wins his bid to unseat the judge who previously ruled to end Terri’s life and frustrated her parents’ efforts to save her.

Circuit Judge George Greer twice ruled that Terri’s estranged husband Michael could end her life. His opponent, attorney Jan Govan, decided to run in large part because of the Terri Schiavo case.

Since there are only two candidates in the nonpartisan race, the primary on Tuesday will determine the winner.

Coincidentally, attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush and Michael Schiavo will be in Tallahassee on Tuesday appearing before the Florida Supreme Court to present oral arguments in Michael’s effort to overturn Terri’s Law, that allowed Bush to reinsert the feeding tube that is providing Terri with food and water.

Govan, who is an attorney with 20 years of legal practice under his belt, decided to run against Greer on the day another judge declared Terri’s Law unconstitutional.

Judge Greer has raised $150,000 from the legal community in and around Clearwater, Florida — including receiving donations from attorneys for Michael Schiavo. That’s made Govan’s effort an uphill climb with only a few thousand dollars to spend.

However, pro-life advocates and disability rights activists who have rallied around Terri and are supporting Govan. They’ve distributed thousands of brochures and fliers on his behalf.

Govan also recently sent a mailing to the 1,800 area residents who purchased Choose Life license plates.
Early on, Govan was careful to not directly say that he disagrees with Judge Greer’s decisions in the years-long legal battle over Terri’s life, though the case prompted him to run.

"I will serve impartially and without any predisposition," Govan told LifeNews.com in a March interview.

Now, however, Govan is making his motives more clear.

"Do you believe that God created life?" Govan’s web site reads. "Do you believe that each of us has the right to enjoy and defend life? Do you believe that no person shall be deprived of the right to enjoy and defend life because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability?"

Pat Anderson, attorney for Terri’s parents, said Govan’s candidacy is good for area residents.

"It takes courage, I’ll tell you that, to challenge a sitting judge," Anderson told LifeNews.com. "The power of incumbency is very powerful, indeed, when you’re talking about judges. But I think it’s a good thing for the voters to have a choice. No public official should take the job for granted."

The race is Greer’s first since being elected to the judgeship twelve years ago.

Related web sites:
Jan Govan – https://www.jangovan.com