Florida Probate Judge George Greer has taken judicial supremacy to new abuses in ordering the starvation of an innocent woman against the will of her parents, her brother, her church, thousands of volunteers, and, as far as we know, herself. We wouldn't permit anyone to treat a dog this way.
Greer not only ordered the cruel withholding of food and water from defenseless Terri Schiavo, he also set in motion the arrests of many good Samaritans attempting to bring her sustenance. The television pictures of armed police barring people from attempting to take her food or water were shocking.
For seven years, this single judge has ruled like a dictator over Schiavo, determined to ensure her death. In 2001, he reportedly said from the bench, "The law of this case is that she will die."
Five times he was asked to recuse himself from the case, and five times he refused. He also denied requests, based on numerous affidavits, to allow a recent medical examination of Schiavo that would take advantage of improvements in medical technology.
Greer's own pastor recently felt compelled to write, "It would seem the logical and, I would say, Biblical course" for Judge Greer to withdraw from the congregation, and he did.
Florida has term limits applying to its legislators and governor, but nothing to curb Greer's obsession and power to terminate Schiavo's life. It is long overdue to pass term limits for how long a single judge can preside tyrannically over one case.
Those who insist that the government should stay out of the Schiavo case can direct their ire at Greer, who has forced Schiavo to die of thirst. If the government stayed out of this case, then Schiavo would be receiving food and water from her parents and others.
Greer advances the pro-death cause of attorney George Felos, who publicly pretends that Schiavo's "death process" has been peaceful. But videotaping of Schiavo in her final days was forbidden, in order to conceal from the public how barbaric this process really is.
By fiat, Greer declared that he had "clear and convincing" evidence that Schiavo would want to be starved to death rather than provided good medical care. That preposterous claim relies on assertions made by her husband's family after he hooked up with another woman, and many years after husband Michael Schiavo testified to a jury that Terri needed a large award to provide for her life-long care.
According to Terri's brother, Michael told three different accounts of Terri's original collapse that caused her unusual condition at age 26, and that a bone scan showed broken bones indicating possible abuse. Yet Florida authorities have steadfastly refused to fully investigate, bring charges, or even act to preserve evidence.
Perhaps the movie "Million Dollar Baby," so praised by the critics, was meant to prepare the public to accept euthanasia. But smart moviegoers evidently did not like its message and it did far worse at the box-office than is typical for a winner of the Academy Award for best picture.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian is serving a long prison sentence for assisting the death of a patient. Yet Greer has perverted the judicial function just as surely as Kevorkian perverted the medical function.
Michigan had the good sense to prosecute Kevorkian. Where is the Florida prosecutor? Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist is busy campaigning to become the next governor of Florida.
Greer, Felos and Michael Schiavo plan to cremate Terri's body immediately after death to destroy the evidence of their heartless deed. At the very least, Crist should order a full investigation and autopsy.
In California, the Democratic Attorney General personally intervened in the Laci Peterson case to ensure that her killer was brought to justice. But even Scott Peterson benefited from a full jury trial before being sentenced to death, and he will still enjoy numerous appeals and years of delay. Terri Schiavo was ordered to die by one man who served as judge, jury and executioner.
This is judicial arrogance at its ugliest. The public should reject the myth that supremacist judges can override the governor, the legislature, Congress, the president, common sense, and even the right to life, and use armed police to protect judicial supremacy.
The Terri Schiavo case has blanketed the news for several weeks, but there are two usually noisy factions we haven't heard from.
Where are the feminists who are forever whining about abusive husbands?
Why are they mute about a husband conniving with a lawyer and a judge to kill his wife?
There is also a thundering silence coming from the people who have been so confidently predicting miracle cures of brain and spinal cord damage by the use of stem cells. Can't Terri be fed for a few more months or years so she can try one of these promised cures?
As this drama played out over Easter weekend, we are reminded of Pontius Pilate washing his hands and putting politics above injustice. Pilate would have been popular in polls of his time, but history has rendered a different verdict.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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