Thomas Sowell

 As dissenting Judge Charles Wilson of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals put it, the "entire purpose of the statute" is to let federal courts look at the case "with a fresh pair of eyes." But, by the Circuit Court's decision, "we virtually guarantee" that the merits of the case "will never be litigated in a federal court" because Terri Schiavo will be dead. Never -- regardless of how many judges are counted as talking points.

 The liberal line, both in politics and in the media, is that Congress somehow behaved unconstitutionally. All federal courts except the Supreme Court are created by Congress. The Constitution itself gives Congress the authority to define or restrict the jurisdictions of federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

 Is the Constitution unconstitutional?

 The lessons of this tragic episode are as momentous as they are painful, if only because we should never want to see such a miscarriage of justice again. The issue is not only whether Terri Schiavo should live or die, important as that is.

 Another important issue is whether self-government in this country will live or die. Judges who ignore the laws passed by elected representatives are slowly but surely replacing democracy with judicial rule. Meanwhile, the media treat judges as sacrosanct and any criticism of them as almost blasphemy.

 All this adds more urgency to the need to put judges on the courts who will follow the written law, not their own notions. We can only hope that the Senate Republicans have the guts to do that.

Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate