Jewish World Review March 24, 2005/ 13 Adar II, 5765
Starved for justice
Democrats have called out armed federal agents in order to: (1) prevent black children from attending a public school in Little Rock, Ark. (National Guard); (2) investigate an alleged violation of federal gun laws in Waco, Texas (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms); and (3) deport a small boy to Cuba (Immigration and Naturalization Service).
So how about a Republican governor sending in the National Guard to stop an innocent American woman from being starved to death in Florida? Republicans like the military. Democrats get excited about the use of military force only when it's against Americans.
In two of the three cases mentioned above, the Democrats' use of force was in direct contravention of court rulings. Admittedly, this was a very long time ago back in U.S. history when the judiciary was only one of the three branches of our government. Democratic Gov. Orval Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard expressly for purposes of defying rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts.
The decadent buffoon Bill Clinton sent armed agents from the INS to seize a small boy from an American family despite rulings by the majestic and infallible Florida courts granting custody of the boy to that very family.
None of these exercises of military force has gone down in history as a noble moment, but that's because of the underlying purpose of the force, not the fact that force was used.
To the contrary, what has gone down in history as a glorious moment for the republic was when President Dwight Eisenhower (Republican) called out military force of his own. In response to Gov. Faubus' abuse of the National Guard, Eisenhower simultaneously revoked Faubus' control of the National Guard and ordered the 101st Airborne Division to escort black students to school. (Minutes later, Democrats pronounced the Arkansas public schools a "hopeless quagmire" and demanded to know what Ike's exit strategy was.)
As important as it was to enforce the constitutional right to desegregated schools, isn't it also important to enforce Terri Schiavo's right to due process before she is killed by starvation?
Liberals' newfound respect for "federalism" is completely disingenuous. People who support a national policy on abortion are prohibited from ever using the word "federalism."
I note that whenever liberals talk about "federalism" or "states' rights," they are never talking about a state referendum or a law passed by the duly elected members of a state legislature or anything voted on by the actual citizens of a state. What liberals mean by "federalism" is: a state court ruling. Just as "choice" refers to only one choice, "the rule of law" refers only to "the law as determined by a court."
As a practical matter, courts will generally have the last word in interpreting the law because courts decide cases. But that's a pragmatic point. There is nothing in the law, the Constitution or the concept of "federalism" that mandates giving courts the last word. Other public officials, including governors and presidents, are sworn to uphold the law, too.
It would be chaotic if public officials made a habit of disregarding court rulings simply because they disagreed with them. But a practice borne of practicality has led the courts to greater and greater flights of arrogance. Sublimely confident that no one will ever call their bluff, courts are now regularly discovering secret legal provisions requiring abortion and gay marriage and prohibiting public prayer and Ten Commandments displays.
Just once, we need an elected official to stand up to a clearly incorrect ruling by a court. Any incorrect ruling will do, but my vote is for a state court that has ordered a disabled woman to be starved to death at the request of her adulterous husband.
Florida state court judge George Greer last heard from when he denied an order of protection to a woman weeks before her husband stabbed her to death determined that Terri would have wanted to be starved to death based on the testimony of her husband, who was then living with another woman. (The judge also took judicial notice of the positions of O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson and Robert Blake.) The husband also happened to be the only person present when the oxygen was cut off to Terri's brain in the first place. He now has two children with another woman.
Greer has refused to order the most basic medical tests for brain damage before condemning a woman to death. Despite all those years of important, searching litigation we keep hearing about, Terri has yet to receive either an MRI or a PET scan although she may be allowed to join a support group for women whose husbands are trying to kill them.
Greer has cut off the legal rights of Terri's real family and made her husband (now with a different family) her sole guardian, citing as precedent the landmark "Fox v. Henhouse" ruling of 1893. Throughout the process that would result in her death sentence, Terri was never permitted her own legal counsel. Evidently, they were all tied up defending the right to life of child-molesting murderers.
Given the country's fetishism about court rulings, this may be a rash assumption, but I presume if Greer had ordered that Terri Schiavo be shot at her husband's request a more humane death, by the way the whole country would not sit idly by, claiming to be bound by the court's ruling because of the "rule of law" and "federalism." President Bush would order the FBI to protect her and Gov. Bush would send in the state police.
What was supposed to be the "least dangerous" branch has become the most dangerous literally to the point of ordering an innocent American woman to die, and willfully disregarding congressional subpoenas. They can't be stopped solely because the entire country has agreed to treat the pronouncements of former ambulance-chasers as the word of G-d. The only power courts have is that everyone jumps when they say "jump." (Also, people seem a little intimidated by the black robes. From now on we should make all judges wear lime-green leisure suits.)
President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said of a Supreme Court ruling he opposed: "Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." The court's ruling was ignored. And yet, somehow, the republic survived.
If Gov. Jeb Bush doesn't say something similar to the Florida courts that have ordered Terri Schiavo to die, he'll be the second Republican governor disgraced by the illiterate ramblings of a state judiciary. Gov. Mitt Romney will never recover from his acquiescence to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's miraculous discovery of a right to gay marriage. Neither will Gov. Bush if he doesn't stop the torture and murder of Terri Schiavo.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of, most recently, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter". (Sales help fund JWR.)