by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2005
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s family and supporters are excited about a last-minute decision by a federal appeals court to consider hearing Bob and Mary Schindler’s case to save their daughter. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Tuesday night that it would consider a request for a new hearing but did not save when.
It also was not clear whether the court would grant a request for an immediate injunction that would allow Terri to receive the food and water she has been denied for thirteen days.
The court, which voted 10-2 against Terri’s parents last week, could reject both reinserting the feeding tube and decide a second time not to hold full hearings on the Schindlers’ lawsuit as it did before.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) assisted Schidnlers attorneys on the legal papers submitted to the appeals court.
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, said the appeal "focuses on what we believe are clear mistakes that were made by the federal district court and appeals court in considering federal legislation that specifically called for an entirely new examination of the facts in this case."
"By agreeing to consider a request for rehearing, the federal appeals court can act immediately to restore Terri’s feeding tube. We urge the federal appeals court to step in and act immediately," he said.
Christine Marriott, one of the dozens of pro-life and disability rights advocates who have protested outside Woodside Hospice to support Terri, was elated when she heard the news.
"God has a way of making things work," she said, telling the Associated Press that "there’s a chance for a miracle" and "anything positive is a breath of life."
”Maybe they’re admitting they’re wrong, and that’s a good thing, right?” Marriott, who drove to Terri’s hospice in the middle of the night after she heard the news, said. "Anything with a breath of life.”
George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is the lawyer for Terri’s estranged husband Michael told CNN that, "This is some sort of last-minute desperation move, and we believe the federal courts have spoken on this already."
Late Tuesday, Felos issued a written statement saying, "The courts have repeatedly said this case is not about Mrs. Schindler, Mr. Schiavo or any other third party. It’s about Mrs. Schiavo and her own wishes not to be kept alive artificially."
When a three judge panel from the appeals court ruled a second time against the Schindlers, they decided against asking the full appeals court to weigh in a second time. They changed their minds and filed papers late Tuesday.
"’The Appellant’s emergency motion for leave to file out of time is granted," the court said in a one-sentence statement.
In the legal brief, Schindler attorney David Gibbs says the federal district court "committed plain error when it reviewed only the state court case and outcome history."
Gibbs indicated he and his staff attorneys were "urged by loving parents, who are watching their daughter slowly die without food and water for over 11 days, to ask this court for another review.”
On Tuesday, Jesse Jackson and First Lady Laura Bush indicated they both support the Schindlers.
"I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips," Jackson said. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."
"It is a life issue that really does require government to be involved," Bush added.
Related news stories:
Terri Schiavo Case Reveals How We Treated Disabled Americans
Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org