Sunday, March 20, 2005


I didn't really want to blog so much about the Schiavo case, which I consider to be a private family matter that is emotionally wrenching but that has already been decided in the proper venue of the Flordia state court system.

So, this is not an entry about her, about her family, or about anyone's point of view about either this specific case or euthanasia or even the medical system in general.

What has me concerned is that the entire Federal government has mobilized over this very specific, individual issue. The first thing that disturbs me about this is that I've always viewed legislative authority as something to be practiced in the abstract. You pass a law against murder, not against murdering a specific person or against one specific murderer. I think we all agree that lawmaking must work that way, right? Heck, that's what ensures that people get equal treatment under the law. This push by the government to insert itself into the Schiavo case seems to fly against that basic principle.

My second objection is that two branches of the Federal government have decided that, in the face of a court decision that its members don't like, that they're going to call a "do over." That's a dangerous precedent, isn't it? Now, they keep saying that all they want to do is to let a federal court decide. But does this mean that any time a state court makes a decision that the government doesn't like that it will change the rules in order to find a more favorable venue?

And, what if the Federal court agrees with the state court in this case? Will the House, Senate and White House stop? Or will they try to invalidate the decision of that court?

The government is supposed to act based on broad principle. In this case, it is trying to micromanage society. And that's dangerous.

Here's some good information on the impact of this little debate from Atrios at the Eschaton blog.


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