The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a plea from the parents of a severely brain-damaged woman in Florida to re-attach the feeding tube that had been keeping her alive.
This isn’t a surprise and given the parameters of what Congress ordered it’s technically correct. (I know there’s the argument that there was supposed to be a trial de novo on the facts, but set that aside for a moment.) The federal courts were allowed, more or less ordered, by Congress to review whether the state of Florida was violating Terri Schiavo’s due process rights, depriving her of life without due process. The fact is, that’s not what is occurring. What is occurring is something much more basic and much more important, but something the Courts have held they don’t have the power to deal with – the failure of government to do its job. What has occurred isn’t the government of Florida depriving her of her life. The Governor of Florida has tried to intervene to save her life. Rather, the government of Florida is failing in its primary mission.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
The state of Florida’s primary mission, the very most basic reason we have governments, is to secure the rights of life, liberty and property against those who would take them from us. Michael Schiavo for whatever reason, for good or ill, wants to deprive Terri Schiavo of her life and the Florida court system has decided that since he is her husband, he can. It wasn’t okay for Scott Peterson to deprive Laci Peterson of her life merely because they were married, but apparently in Florida things are different.
The state exists to prevent, not sanction, homicide, but in this case it is failing utterly. Unfortunately, we as citizens have no enforceable right against the state to require it to “secure these rights.” (Deshaney 489 U.S. 189 (1989))