The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The last thing I will say about Terri Shiavo

O.K., I am officially sick of this case. I take no joy that a legitimate outcome resulted. I do hope that the Democrats go forward with their new found respect for states' rights. But I'm not holding my breath. I hope Republicans learn a lesson about what happens when Republicans forget what party they represent, but given the strength of support for their last minute, illegal intervention into the Shiavo case among evangelicals, I won't hold my breath for that either. So, in the end the whole episode becomes academic. But for states' rights and separation of powers advocates, we will not soon forget the day that the United States Congress, controlled by Republicans, shed its last vestige of constitutional legitimacy. Jonah Goldberg disagrees with me on that point, but he has a pretty good analysis of the Democrat's morose. Read his article here.
On another topic, Reason has a great new article about the Supreme Court's problematic decision on giving the death penalty to minors. Ronald Bailey worries that it may set a precedent that could virtually end the death penalty in these United States. That's a bad thing? Read the article here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, of all people should know, that the sanctity of human life trumps states rights.

Or would you have foregone fighting the Civil War for the benefit of your black neighbors and co-workers?


4:52 PM  
Blogger Free2Smooze said...

Respectfully, I must disagree with your analysis and analogy. Our national government was establish with clearly deliniated powers codified in a constitution. There are very good reasons for this. The founders feared the tendency of government to consolidate power over time. This case represented a crack in that wall that seperates state power from the federal as well as judicial from legislative. If congress is allowed to mandate that the court must act in a specific way, then that seperation is breeched and the potential consequences could be far more severe then the death of this one unfortunate woman. Allowing this case to conclude in the state system in no way colides with the sanctity of life. Given your argument, living wills would be worthless because the santity of life would trump contract law just as it allegedly trumps states' rights to ajudicate its own cases free from federal involvement. The state courts are not branch offices of the federal judicary and state supreme courts are not just another federal appeals court. The Constitution claims that all men are created equal, in the slave states this what not the case. In the course of attempting to rectify an unconstitutional practice, the South illegally withdrew from the country and a war of cessation began. But the Constitution in no way guarentees federal review of all state cases, nor does it grant the congress the right to legislate directives to the courts. I have the utmost respect for the convictions of those that are passionate about this womans case, but the state courts have found that the husband is the legal guardian and that it would not be her wish to be artifically sustained. Of course we can quibble about the facts of the case, we can quibble about the results of the O.J. Simpson case, but we can agree that the court reached a decision and that is that. This is at the heart of the difference between a religious conservative and a libertarian. Your inclination is to error on the side of life, ours is to error on the side of liberty and limited government. Neither position is wrong or immoral or disrepectable, just different perspectives.

1:50 AM  

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