APPEAL DENIED...AGAIN. WHAT'S NEXT?
Attorneys for Bob and Marie Schindler had the idea of appealing the Terri Schiavo case once again to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta, claiming that Tampa-based Federal District Judge James D. Whittemore should have ruled on the basis of all the information brought forth in the case, not only procedureal matters.
It didn't work.
The 11th Circuit has denied a petition requesting a rehearing by a 2-1 decision, and later a majority of the 12 active judges backed up the denial. In the later denial, Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr. of Georgia concurred with some strong comments:
A popular epithet directed by some members of society, including some members of Congress, toward the judiciary involves the denunciation of "activist judges". Generally, the defination of an "activist judge" is one who decides the outcome of a controversy before him according to personal conviction, even one sincerely held, as opposed to the dictates of the law as constrained by legal precedent and, ultimately, our Constitution. In resolving the Schiavo controversy it is my judgement that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislature and executive brances of government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the government of a free people --- our Constitution.
The Schindlers' only judicial hope now is to appeal the 11th Circuit's ruling to the United States Supreme Court.