Steven Calabresi on Schiavo
New on Westlaw: Steven G. Calabresi, The Terri Schiavo Case: In Defense of the Special Law Enacted by Congress and President Bush, 100 Nw. U. L. Rev. 151 (2006). From the introduction:
This Essay examines the moral and legal issues raised by the Terri Schiavo case. I begin in Part II below by briefly stating the moral case in defense of the position that Mrs. Schiavo's parents took opposing the withdrawal of her feeding and hydration tube. I discuss the equities of the case and briefly explain why state and federal courts of equity ought to have ruled for Mrs. Schiavo's parents, and against her husband, based on the evidence that was available when those courts ruled. I then ask in Part III whether the extraordinary law that Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed, directing the federal courts to redecide the federal questions raised by Mrs. Schiavo's case, was constitutional. While there are a number of very close and hard constitutional questions raised by the law, I conclude that the special bill for Mrs. Schiavo's and her parents' relief was constitutional. Finally, in Part IV, I consider whether as a policy matter it was appropriate for Congress and the President to intervene in the Schiavo case in the way they did.