At least that's what one would hope for if one were not a fanatical devotee of American Legal Religion. But here's Slate's Dahlia Lithwick foaming at the mouth over the people's representatives' unbearable uppitiness in daring to pronounce on the issue:
Whether one believes that Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state" or a "minimally conscious state" is immaterial. Whether one believes that her blinks and smiles are signs of cognition or automated reflexes is similarly not the issue. All that matters is that these disputes are governed by law, that the law says Michael Schiavo is her legal guardian, and that his decision ought to have been final.To Lithwick, the courts make the law; any so-called "law" produced by mere legislators is insolent usurpation of judicial prerogatives, and should be ignored. One wonders how Americans can ever hope to establish democracy in Iraq, when this kind of rank contempt for it is so commonplace back home.
Since 1990, when the Supreme Court decided Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health, there has been a constitutionally protected right to decline unwanted medical procedures. How does the Florida Legislature justify overriding that decision and its own Constitution—which guarantees a right to privacy and allows residents or their legal guardians to terminate life support—by enacting a "law" that expressly violates that right? And how dare Jeb Bush call for the appointment of a new guardian for Schiavo? The courts have already named one—her husband.