Sunday, March 20, 2005

Thoughts of the Day

Thank you, Congress, for deciding that you have the right to make medical decisions for me. Sorry, Mom, Dad, and Danielle, but you'll have to clear your decisions regarding me with Tom DeLay first.

Also, according to a new book, judicial decisions expanding equal rights to all Americans creates "de facto judicial tyranny." So it's more tyrannical to tell someone they can do something than to tell someone they can't. Interesting.


Mike said...

While I'm really not sure how I feel about Congress stepping in here (it just reeks of Christian fundamentalism), I think your analogy falls short. With the allegations of abuse and the differing viewpoints in the Terri Schiavo case, it would be more like: Danielle abuses you which may or may not lead to your near-vegetative state, then she decides to pull you life support, but Mom and Dad don't want her to so they ask for federal help.

Not that this doesn't set a dangerous precedent for government interference in private lives. :(

Jeff said...

Actually, she's there because she was bulimic (which is ironic as hell), so the husband had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I think you are mistaken in what Congress has done. The matter was already in the was in state court as the parents tried to prevent the husband from disconnecting the wife. Congress simply passed legislation to give jurisdiction for the parents to bring the case in federal court. That's hardly Congress taking over your medical decisions.

There's plenty to be angry about...the bankruptcy bill, the Supreme Court ruling limiting Massoui's right to get favorable witnesses b/c of "national security" (Compulsory Process for Obtaining Witnesses being a Constitutional right), the Social Security Destruction Plan, the "nuclear option" and so forth. But I don't think this is one of them.

It DOES raise a much more mundane issue: standing. As a Constitutional doctrine, federal courts can only hear claims by those who have standing to sue (think the Nedow Pledge of Allegience case). While standing is a boring, complicated topic...nobody has ever said Congress can grant standing where the Constitution/the Supreme Court grants none.

Looks like the federal court is ruling for the husband anyway.

Oh...looking at the eminent domain thing below, I realized that I agree with you on the "public use" point and I failed to make that sufficiently clear.

- Ben

Anonymous said... were referring to the subpoena. Just goes to show I shouldn't be such a quick trigger with the blog comments.

- Ben

Mike said...

I have been following the actual details of the case not at all (largely because I don't care), and the only thing specific I heard about her vegetative state is that there were allegations that the the husband might have been physically abusive toward the wife, and that such abuse may have led to her incapitation. I hadn't heard the bulimic thing, but that is pretty amusing (in a sad sort of way).

Bottom line: Congress still shouldn't be involved.