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Monday, March 28, 2005

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 Does the Schiavo case sound democracy's death knell?

This will be my only post on a legal case that should have been settled a long, long time ago. Ed over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars has a teriffic summary of rebuttals against the "christian" wingnut claptrap that has dominated corporate media. Worth a read. The LA Times had a good editorial this weekend that is also worth checking out:
Republican leaders, eyeing an opportunity to appease their radical right-wing constituents, convened Congress over the weekend to shamelessly interject the federal government into the wrenching Schiavo family dispute. They brushed aside our federalist system of government, which assigns the resolution of such disputes to state law, and state judges. Even President Bush flew back from his ranch to Washington on Sunday to be in on what amounts to a constitutional coup d'etat.

Conservatives are the historical defenders of states' rights, and the supposed proponents of keeping big government out of people's lives, but this case once again shows that some social conservatives are happy to see the federal government acquire Stalinist proportions when imposing their morality on the rest of the country. So breathtaking was this attempted usurpation of power, wresting jurisdiction over a right-to-die case away from Florida's judiciary, that Republican leaders in the end had to agree to limit this legislation's applicability to the Schiavo case.

So much for the era of big government being over. The larger meaning of this case is summarized articulately by Tristero:

I'm struck that many on the left blogosphere have focused on the details of the Schiavo case rather than its larger meaning. That meaning is stark and disturbing: The Bush administration demonstrated in public - not in secret, as with the Gonzales torture memos - that they have the will and the means to overturn any law they disagree with. Regardless of what happens now to the Schiavo case, the right wing extremists who control our government have made their point. Openly, they have asserted, and proven, that they are literally above the law of the United States. They are now unequivocably beyond any judicial control. Only a fool would believe that they won't do this again on a different issue. And again. And again.

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