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Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Today, I write the following with a good deal of apprehension and uncertainty for the outcome.

For days, we have been bombarded with the issues surrounding a young woman named Theresa "Terri" Schaivo, and whether or not her husband has the right as her guardian to allow her to die with dignity, or be forced by her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, to allow her to continue living in a "persistent, vegetative state" until her body gives out and gives her over to death.

It's easy to label the husband as being selfish - but this man essentially put his life on hold for 15 years to care for his wife. I think he fulfilled the marriage vow "In sickness and in health." Well, she's not going to get better either way, so why not allow her to die with dignity?

It's equally easy to sympathize with Bob and Mary Schindler - parents always want their children to bury them first; not the other way around. In fact, every parent that has lost a child would probably tell you, "This isn't right - my kid should be burying me, not me burying my kid." Perhaps, they fight for Terri's life as a means of avoiding their own confrontation with their own mortality. We can't ever know who's right and who's wrong here.

But the biggest concern we, as Americans, should be having is with the machinations of our Federal Government. They are trying to pick and choose the areas where they decide they want to play GOD. And since the judicial system seems inclined to follow the established law, as well as allow the full operation of the concept of governmental checks and balances, Congress has decided to discard any and all constitutional provisions, and drive this vehicle further towards the United States of America becoming the United States of Facism. The day a Federal Court rules in a way that GeeDubya, or Tom DeLay doesn't approve of, they wilfully violate the provision of the Constitution, piss on the Judicial System and pass a law which violates all tenets of due process of the law, not to mention the fact that the Constitution specifically stipulates that Congress cannot overrule a Federal Court decision. If they are that concerned about Terri Schaivo, where was this concern over Sun Hudson, an African-American baby in Texas, whose tube got pulled over the objections of his own mother? Where was Congress' concern for the first 14.5 years of Terri's life in this persistent, vegetative state, while they are voting simultaneously to cut the Medicare funding that pays for Terri's care, and legislation that would limit the damages that Terri's family collected for malpractice in her treatment?

The hypocrasy of our Legislators literally takes my breath away, and I'm not having a Jessica Simpson moment, either.

Yet, our Government is not in the hands of those who would respect and honor what has been established by a 229-year old document. They forget why a faction of people in Europe, Britain to be precise, fled what they considered a tyrannical government ruled by a monarch, to come to this land and found a new nation where democracy would be king, and government would be of the people, for the people and by the people. They come here, and almost 230 years later, they are repeating the history that their ancestors fled.

Complicit in all of this is the United States Supreme Court - until 2000, many Americans, including me, believed that if justice would ever be given a final outcome, the Supreme Court is the branch of government that would lay down the law, and settle the matter. Whenever they decided a court case, their word was final. No other avenues for appeal; whatever resolution they developed became the law of the land. As I said, until December 13, 2000, we believed the Supreme Court to be non-partisan, objective and impartial.

Then comes Bush v. Gore - the Supreme Court case that changed everything, and along with changing everything, eviscerated any perception we ever had of this judicial body being fair, impartial, objective and non-partisan. When the justices acted in the most blatant and partisan manner in even deciding to accept the case, let alone issue a ruling in it, most Americans were shocked, because most of us who studied political science, or history; we knew that in the event of a dispute in the outcome of a presidential election, the Constitution provides for Congress to convene and take a vote to decide who would be the next President of the United States. There was no need for Bush to rush a case before the Supreme Court - Congress already had a partisan majority that favored him getting the Oval Office very easily, thanks to the landslide midyear elections in 1994. Did he not trust the GOP to vote in his favor and needed to guarantee he would be President of the United States?

I know in the African-American community, we dog Clarence Thomas for his continual selling out of minorities with his rulings to no end. The fact that he was picked by Poppy Bush to replace the legendary Thurgood Marshall, continues to insult our intelligence thirteen years after the "hi-tech lynching" only to read David Brock's book "Blinded by The Right; the Conscience of an Ex-Conservative" and find out everything alleged by Anita Hill was true, not to mention he was the least qualified jurist ever to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

Or take Antonin Scalia. He's too chummy with individuals who more likely than not, will have a court case coming before him for a decision. We already know just how impartial he is, or how well he tries to avoid appearances of conflict or impropriety (going hunting with Dick Cheney did wonders in restoring our faith in the Court's ability to be impartial). Yet Scalia and Thomas are GeeDubya's favorite members on the bench, and he wants to elevate one of them to Chief Justice. That alone is enough to make Freddy Kruger look like Beaver Cleaver in any nightmare we are beginning to experience.

I'm wondering if William Rehnquist, who is battling throat cancer, has a living will, cause if the Supremes take this case, the Government may tell his loved ones what to do with him if he succumbs to a coma and can't be revived.

Now that the Federal Court of Appeals in Atlanta, has upheld the previous ruling in Michael Schiavo's favor, the Schindlers, fueled by money from the Bradley and Sciafe Foundations, are now heading to the Supreme Court to have this case heard...again. Never mind that they have already been before the Court, and the Court decided not to hear the case, but remanded it back to the State of Florida for a determination. We cannot take comfort that they more than likely will refuse to hear this case again. We already made that mistake with them in Bush v. Gore. And even if they weren't prepared for the fact that their credibility suffered tremendously in the court of public opinion with that ruling, we cannot be comforted by the fact that they would remember the public's perception of the Court, nor can we take comfort in the hope that public opinion would persuade them to not hear this case. Remember, this is a Court that wanted Bush to become President so badly, they failed to use established law, but, in fact, discarded the Constitution and gave Bush the Presidency solely because of their partisan beliefs.

Even though 70% of Americans believe that Congress only got involved in the Schiavo case for craven political grandstanding (which I hope will result in those voting for this legislation being found among the unemployed in 2006), the Supreme Court, like Congress, just may not give a damn what we, the American people, think about this issue. In fact, may I suggest that the Bush Administration would like all Americans to just stop thinking, period, because when we are thinking about things that matter, we tend to ask questions. Questions that the Bush Cartel don't want to answer, and when they do, they lie about it.

So, in thinking about the Schiavo case, I'm remembering that this issue is going before a judicial body that has already betrayed the American People. The date of that betrayal was December 13, 2000, when they ruled to give Bush the presidency. When Bush took office on January 20, 2001, our Nation began the long, hard slog towards ceasing to be a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and got on the road to hell and purgatory. Our nation began her shameful descent towards fascism, and she continues her journey to this very day.

Simply put, The Supreme Court Cannot Be Trusted to do what is right. They lost the trust of the American People with Bush v. Gore. Now, they have another opportunity to show themselves as an impartial, judicial body, and regain some of their stature and credibility they used to enjoy, not to mention the trust of the American People, even if Bush attempts to stack the court with right-wing nut jobs like himself. Will they take it, or will they betray this Nation again?


Blogger The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Actually, the day after I posted this, the Supremes actually did something right.

They remembered the law...and refused to hear this case.

Should be "CASE CLOSED" except the Schindlers aren't giving up.

5:13 PM  
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