Thomas Sowell

 Even if critics who claim that this is being done for political or ideological reasons are partially or even wholly correct, they still miss the point. It is the public's sense of concern -- in some cases, outrage -- that is reflected by their elected representatives.

 What can Congress do -- and what effect will it have? We do not know and Congress does not know. Those who are pushing for legislation to save Terri Schiavo are obviously trying to avoid setting a precedent or upsetting the Constitutional balance.

 It is an old truism that hard cases make bad law. No one wants all such cases to end up in either Congress or the federal courts. But neither do decent people want an innocent woman killed because she was inconvenient and a court refused to recognize the conflict of interests in her legal guardian.

 The fervor of those who want to save Terri Schiavo's life is understandable and should be respected, even by those who disagree. What is harder to understand is the fervor and even venom of those liberals who have gone ballistic -- ostensibly over state's rights, over the Constitutional separation of powers, and even over the sanctity of family decisions.

 These are not things that liberals have any track record of caring about. Is what really bothers them the idea of the sanctity of life and what that implies for their abortion issue? Or do they hate any challenge to the supremacy of judges -- on which the whole liberal agenda depends -- a supremacy that the Constitution never gave the judiciary?

 If nothing else comes out of all this, there needs to be a national discussion of some humane way to end life in those cases when it has to be ended -- and this may not be one of those cases.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate