Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The United States Congress Has Been Overrun By Self-Important Busy Bodies!

CNN reports that the House will consider legislation that would create jurisdiction in federal courts for cases such as Terry Schiavo's -- where, in the absence of a competent advanced directive, a family member of a patient in a persistent vegetative state contends that the PVS patient wished not to live in a PVS.

Under the House legislation, a federal judge would decide whether withholding or withdrawing food, fluids or medical treatment from an incapacitated person violates the Constitution or U.S. law.

It would apply only to incapacitated people who had not left directives dealing with being kept alive artificially and for whom a state judge had authorized the withholding of food or medical treatment.

Why not only apply it to people named Terry Schiavo? The United States precludes the passing of bills of attainder, which, in effect, is a prohibition aimed at the passage of case-specific legislation. Of course, in fact it's far narrower than that and doesn't apply here, to my knowledge. That said, this legislation directly violates the spirit of that provision, which plainly stated a preference for denying Congress the authority to pass sui generis laws that, by their very nature are frivolous.

Add to this the fact that issues of medical care are typically the province of state law under basic principles of federalism, state courts are entitled to evaluate facts at the trial-court level based on their own assessments of credibility (here, the credibility of Schiavo's husband's claim that she did not wish to be kept alive in this way), and there are far more important things for our Congress to be doing (e.g., playing footsie with hypertrophic baseball players), this is a farce.

It's a farce.

It's a farce and an embarrassment.

We should throw all of these motherfuckers out. I'm not even kidding. Do over! Thank god I've got March Madness to distract me -- starting like now.

(Hat tip: Bloodless Coup)


Anonymous binky said...

And the implicit:"...Who Want to Suck Up to Jebby Who Made This a Pet Issue and Intervened on the Pro-Life Side Already (Though It DIdn't Work)"

1:17 PM  

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