Based on the unanimous ruling of the Florida Supreme Court yesterday, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed, but it is not clear when. The court ruled that “Terri's Law” is unconstitutional and that Gov. Jeb Bush should not have been given the power to reinsert her feeding tube last year. This decision supports an earlier court ruling in May.
This six-year battle began when Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael Schiavo, first asked for permission to have the tube removed. His wife's parents opposed his request, but he won court approval to remove it after doctors testified that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state, with no hope of recovery.
When the tube was taken out nearly a year ago, the Florida Legislature quickly passed Terri's Law, giving Bush the power to intervene, and he ordered the feeding tube reinserted.
But the Supreme Court has ruled that Terri’s Law violated the separation of powers between the branches of government and that the Florida Legislature improperly delegated power to the governor, reported the Miami Herald.
Chief Justice Barbara Pariente, who wrote the ruling, suggested that Bush’s decision was based on emotion. The United States is “a nation of laws and we must govern our decisions by the rule of law and not by our own emotions,” she wrote.
“Our hearts can fully comprehend the grief so fully demonstrated by Theresa's family members on this record,” the ruling says. “But our hearts are not the law. What is in the Constitution always must prevail over emotion.”
The court gave each side in the case 10 days to ask for a rehearing.