when he was running for higher office, Barack Obama was asked what
decision he most regretted making in his brief time as a senator. He
said it was the vote to help the family of Terri Schindler Schiavo try
to save her life and protect her rights to due process when her husband
was trying to starve her and dehydrate her to death.
Okay, he didn’t say it that way. But that was the vote he most wished he could take back.
President-elect Obama may be trying to do that now with this appointment.
Barack Obama has named the lawyer who represented Terri
Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife as
the third highest attorney in the Justice Department. Thomas Perrelli,
who won an award for representing Schiavo’s former husband, had served
on Obama’s transition team.
This sends a very bad signal.
Perrelli provided Michael Schiavo with legal advice
during his response to the Congressional bill that President Bush
signed allowing the Schindler family to take their lawsuit seeking to
prevent Terri’s euthanasia death from state to federal courts.
Obama feels he was on the wrong side of the law back then.
During an April 2007 debate, Obama said, “I think
professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived
in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us,
including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to
intrude where it shouldn’t have.”
Yes, it should have, and many experts in law and bioethics have come on ‘America’s Lifeline’
to explain why. There was a higher burden of proof to provide clear and
convincing evidence in this case, and it was grossly ignored by the
judicial system involved. Once you deny a person their constitutional
right to due process by whim or ideology, no one is safe. Our Justice
Department is tasked with protecting citizens from that danger. But
it’s about to get more dangerous. And unjust.