Political appointments are after all, political. Some are more or
less a match of skills to the job, some are an imposition of an agenda
in places that can execute it.
Speaking of executing…
Mr. Obama’s appointment of Thomas Perrelli to Justice is getting
heated resistence. The Justice Department is no place for someone who
has committed gross injustice, say the groups in this commentary.
In a Jan. 6 story in The Washington Times, veteran
reporters Stephen Dinan and Jerry Seper show that prominent special
interest groups, such as the Traditional Values Coalition and the
Family Research Council, are urging Republicans to oppose Mr.
It is rare for a sub-Cabinet nominee to generate such fierce
criticism, but Mr. Perrelli deserves it. He was one of the lawyers
responsible for the death of Terry Schiavo. While representing Mrs.
Schiavo’s husband, Michael, Mr. Perrelli played a key role in having
the Florida woman’s feeding tube forcibly removed. The 2005 landmark
right-to-die case rightly outraged the pro-life community. As Mrs.
Schiavo lay in a coma, her parents and siblings repeatedly said they
were willing to take full responsibility, including paying for her
medical care. Mr. Schiavo refused.
Perrelli helped him enforce the order to remove her feeding tube and commence her agonizing death.
When the Florida courts and the state legislature
refused to save Mrs. Schiavo’s life, President Bush and congressional
Republicans sought to intervene. They asked for a transfer of
jurisdiction, so that federal courts could review the case. Yet, Mr.
Perrelli, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, worked
tirelessly to prevent this and prevailed. Thus, the forces of death
won. Mrs. Schiavo was slowly starved to death.
Contrary to the claims of Mr. Schiavo’s supporters, the issue at
hand was not about the “government intervening in a private family
matter” or a husband’s prerogative to decide his wife’s fate in such
circumstances. By then, Mr. Schiavo had relinquished his moral
authority by hooking up with another woman. While his wife was still
alive, he abandoned her. More importantly, the Terry Schiavo case was
about the most basic and sacred rights of all: the right to life – a
right that is the government’s overriding duty to protect.
Mr. Perrelli’s active involvement should disqualify him from a top job at the Justice Department.
At the very least.