Terri Schiavo Case Could Go to Supreme Court, if Terri’s Law Overturned

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Case Could Go to Supreme Court, if Terri’s Law Overturned Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 2, 2004

Tallahasee, FL (LifeNews.com) — If the Florida Supreme Court decides to overturn Terri’s Law and authorize Terri’s estranged husband Michael to end her life, attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush are considering taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ken Conner, Bush’s lead attorney and former president of the Family Research Council, says the Florida governor would "explore all the options that are available to him."

"If the Florida Supreme Court construes it in such a way as to deprive the governor of his constitutionally protected rights of federal due process, then I expect the governor will consider seeking relief from the United States Supreme Court," Conner told Knight Ridder newspapers.

That may be a necessary option given the questions posed to Conner by members of the Florida high court.

A few of the seven judges told Conner or asked questions that made it seem as if they agreed with Michael’s attorney, who claims Terri’s Law violated the separation of powers clause in the state constitution.

The Florida Supreme Court has not given any hints as to when it will render its decision. But, when it does, attorneys for Michael say the ruling can’t be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court because it involves matters of state law.

Attorneys for Bush, however, could form their basis for an appeal on violation of federal due process rights — for both Terri and Governor Bush in defending the law.

If the case heads to the nation’s highest court, Michael says he’s ready to keep fighting.

"I will carry out what she wanted," Michael told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper in response to the possibility.

The main portion of the legal battle surrounding Terri began six years ago when Michael first requested permission to end her life via euthanasia by removing her feeding tube.

In the ensuing legal battle between Michael, who is engaged to and living with another woman, and Terri’s parents, the U.S. Supreme Court previously refused to take the case.