Appeals court to consider new Schiavo hearing

I have no idea why, and I’m not sure what this means, all I know is what the AP is telling us… the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to consider a petition for a new hearing on whether to re-insert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

The ruling probably comes too late to save Terri’s life, but it is sure to keep the media fat and happy for another day or so.


  1. 1

    Nindid spews:

    Considering that the family has already said that it is too late to ‘save’ Terri, one wonders what the point of taking it too the courts again is.

    Well, other then media and politics that is….

  2. 3


    Manslaughter? Oh, please. I’ve refrained from commenting on the Schiavo issue because it is sad situation that has become a circus, and I have mixed feelings about so many aspects of it.

  3. 4

    Richard Pope spews:

    Goldy, I don’t know what this means either. I didn’t see the Schindler’s petition for a new hearing posted in either of the two 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case dockets, much less any order by the court for a new hearing. But the 11th Circuit docket is not an electronic filing system, so it probably won’t be updated by staff in the clerk’s office until sometime during business hours on Wednesday.

    It is a matter of the court’s discretion whether to even entertain a motion for a new hearing or reconsideration. They could have simply rejected it without comment, as is the normal result. So if they are going to entertain it, they will probably decide it really quickly, like sometime Wednesday morning. If they aren’t going to decide it for a few days, that would be cruel and unusual punishment for someone.

  4. 5

    Goldy spews:

    Richard @4,

    I believe it is cruel and unusual punishment regardless… at least for Terri’s parents. It seems unlikely an order could come fast enough to save her. Curiously, this is the legal argument the Schindler’s lawyers probably should have pursued in the first place.

    Chuck @2,
    What is this weird, joyful fantasy that many right-wingers have about imprisoning people who disagree with them?

  5. 6

    Chuck spews:

    No just those that assume they are speaking for others…7 years aftwer they said that they have no idea what the person wanted…..

  6. 7

    Dubyasux spews:

    Chuck @ 2

    You don’t know a damn thing about law, so you should leave interpretation of laws to those who do.

  7. 10

    swatter spews:

    Goldy, to answer your original question, it’s called Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson.

    Why that makes a difference, I don’t know.

  8. 11

    Chee spews:

    chuck@2. “If things work out her “husband” might be charged with manslaughter…could be.” MIGHT is a mighty big word and The way you talk, “could be” you have a control issues.I suppose (big word too) if you are married you “MIGHT” be so inclined to want to prop your life-less brain-less wife up against the stove to get another spagetti dinner out of her. Anyone with half a brain should know by now this is a dead issue. Hope things work out for you and you get a transplant.

  9. 12

    chew2 spews:


    Last I remembered the 11th A three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against the Schindler’s on their (second) appeal from the District Court’s order denying them relief based on their 3d amended complaint. The panel gave them until March 26 to request a rehearing en banc before the whole 11th Circuit. The Schindler’s then said they weren’t going to pursue any furhter federal appeals. They now have apparently decided to seek a rehearing en banc, and the 11th Ciruit has said that they will consider it despite the March 26 deadline. The 11th Circuit could deny the rehearing petition as they did in the first appeal, or they could grant it. The fragmentary news reports say the Schindler’s are now arguing that the trial court erred in failing to consider the whole state court record in evaluating the Schindler’s claims, presumably their procedural and substantive due process claims.

  10. 13

    Nelson spews:

    I’m not a lawyer, so I’d invite any learned attorney in the crowd out there to comment. It seems to me (again, as a lay person) that the Schindler lawyers made a great error when they made their initial Federal filing following that rushed through Congressional action.

    As I read the law that Bush and the GOP pushed through Congress, it clearly stated that a Federal court do a “de novo” review of the case. As I understand that, it means start everything from scratch. Yet the first filing that the Schindler lawyers made simply asked the Federal judge to reverse the state court’s order to remove the feeding tube. That appeared to give the opening to the Federal judge to simply rely on the State court rulings, which he did and which the 11th Circuit later affirmed he did correctly.

    Now, this is to you lawyers out there. If the Schindler’s had simply followed the letter of the new Federal law and simply filed an original, new, lawsuit without referring at all to the previous State court lawsuits, wouldn’t that have had a better chance in Federal court? And, if there were to have been a whole new Federal trial on the merits of the case, wouldn’t the Federal Judge have simply been compelled to then automatically issue a stay on the State court order to remove the feeding tube while a new trial on all the facts was prepared?

    In other words, did the Schindler lawyers simply blow their whole case by making an inappropriate Federal filing immediately following the midnight Congressional action?

    I’d be interested in learned opinions on this point.

  11. 15

    Nindid spews:

    Char @14 Whatever… the fact is that the husband supports the autopsy. The thing that keeps getting lost in the corporate media’s playing of this is that while it is a he-said-she-said on what Terri would have wanted to a degree, the medical opinion of her condition should not include this. Every reputable doctor that has examined her – Frist by videotape does not count – has said she is in a permanent vegatative state. LIES I TELL YOU, LIES!

  12. 16

    Diggindude spews:

    That tampa news article does nothing to suggest michael schiavo lied.
    It says he doesn’t have the “call” on it, but he still wanted to do an autopsy, while the parents did not.

  13. 17

    chew2 spews:

    Nelson @13

    The Schindler’s were limited in what they could do under the emergency federal law. They did bring a brand new action in federal court, but could only assert claims under federal law.

    The emergency federal statute provided for consideration “de novo” of any claim for violations of right under “the laws of the United States” or the U.S. Constitution. The Schindler’s could only bring FEDERAL law claims. So they claimed that Terri’s federal procedural due process rights were violated, and that various federal statutes were violated. In evaluating the due process claim, the federal court necessarily had to look at what the state court’s had done. And the federal courts found that the Schindler’s could not state any plausible claim for relief under any of the various federal laws they cited.

    So far as I can tell there is no way that the Schindler’s could get a court to review the underlying facts under a federal claim of right. That would involve state law, and the state law had been thoroughly adjudicated over the last 8 years in the Florida courts. The emergency statute did not give the federal court the right to review those state law issues.

    There was a lot of BS by the GOP members about what the law was supposed to do. They never bothered to read the law which they passed.

    But ignorance of the law is no excuse:

    You can read the whole law here:

  14. 20

    Dubyasux spews:

    A de novo trial in federal courts would have taken at least a couple of years, unless both sides agreed to stipulate the state court’s findings of fact, which would negate the whole purpose of a new trial. I don’t want to second guess the Schindlers’ lawyers; they had reasons for what they did, but I can’t read their minds. By asking the federal court to “review” the state court ruling, they gave up any chance of challenging the findings of fact and limited themselves to arguing a very limited array of legal issues.

  15. 22


    chew hits the highlights nicely. I say much the same thing over at AlsoAlso. This is closer to what DeLay wanted, but a lot farther from what his bill authorized.

  16. 23

    chew2 spews:

    Dubyasux @20

    The emergency statute was unclear about whether “de novo” consideration meant de novo “review”, in which case the court would be limited to the facts in the state court record but could use it’s independent judgement in evaluating those facts, or de novo “trial” in which case new evidence could be introduced.

    But the court would not even reach the issue of what level of de novo consideration was required unless the Schindler’s could first show a substantial likelihood of prevailing on a federal claim for relief. The federal courts found that they never met that initial burden. They couldn’t show a federal claim that would justify relief.

    The Schindler’s failure here had nothing to do with whether they requested de novo “review” or de novo “trial”.

  17. 24

    Chris spews:

    Nindid@1 – “Considering that the family has already said that it is too late to ’save’ Terri”

    What are you talking about? No one in the family (except Michael) has given up on her.

    “Terri is still with us. … She is weak from the lack of food and hydration but her skin tone is fine. I think it’s breaking down. I know some of her organs are still functioning,” Bob Schindler said outside his daughter’s hospice.

    “I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and encouraged. She’s still fighting and we’re going to fight for her. It’s not too late,” he said, presumably directing his comments to the judges.

  18. 27

    Chris spews:

    I did not see that, I’ll look for it. But the point is; is the lawyer the “Family”? Maybe in his opinion it is too late, which means the Schindlers need a new lawyer. Not because he is wrong, I don’t know that he is, but becasue your legal counsel cannot truly give the effort you need of him if he believes his work is all for not. How hard would you push for a cause you believed to be hopeless?

  19. 28

    jcricket spews:

    Chris – I think part of the problem is that, in their desperation, the Schindlers have enlisted any and all people they believe would be “on their side”. Unfortunately this has included people who are clearly more interested in pushing their own agenda, like Randall Terry, Tom Delay and Ralph Nader (side note, WTF?).

    I’m not surprised at the Schindler’s issuing contradictory statements. They probably veer back and forth between “facing reality” and “fighting until their last breath” (so to speak). Unfortunately, their allies and the charlatans (i.e. all the doctors making their remote diagnoses and offering false hope) make it worse. People like Randall Terry attempting to incite violence, or Tom Delay calling the husband a murderer on the House floor.

    Again, I’m not surprised that the Schindlers turned a “blind eye” towards the problems with their newfound allies, it just reflects their desperation.

    But it’s an important lesson to all of us: Dance with the devil and the devil don’t change, he changes you.

    Or, lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

  20. 29

    Dubyasux spews:

    chew2 @ 23

    OK, thanks for the clarification. Frankly, I’m not following the legal aspects of the Schiavo case all that closely. I do have other things on my plate.

  21. 30

    Chee spews:

    Dubyasux@29. The Schiavo story has dropped to the level of Henny Penny and Turkey Lurky who thought the sky was falling. Supreme Court intervention will not occur, the enevitable will prevail and the sky won’t fall.