Lakeland, Fla., Feb. 13, 2004’The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law, said it is pleased with today’s decision by a Florida appeals court reversing a lower court decision that blocked Robert and Mary Schindler ‘ the parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo ‘ from intervening in a lawsuit to defend ‘Terri’s Law’ ‘ legislation that cleared the way for Florida Governor Jeb Bush to restore life-saving measures to Terri Schindler Schiavo.
‘The decision by the appeals court is encouraging and opens the door for Terri’s parents to intervene directly in this critical case,’ said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which is representing the Schindlers in the state case. ‘This decision gives us one more opportunity to convince the court to do what should have been done from the very start ‘ permit Terri’s parents to take a direct and active role in defending the state law that is the only thing keeping their daughter alive. While we believe that ‘Terri’s Law’ ultimately will be upheld as constitutional, it is our focus now to ensure that Terri’s parents be permitted to be directly involved in a case that will ultimately decide the fate of their daughter.’
Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal today ruled that Pinellas Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird did not follow judicial rules when he denied an ACLJ motion in November 2003 on behalf of the Schindlers to intervene in the case. The appeals court ruled that Judge Baird’s order be reversed and sent the case back to him ‘for further proceedings.’
‘We look forward to another opportunity to convince the court that the Schindlers have a legal right to intervene in this case and that their desire to defend ‘Terri’s Law’ meets the standards necessary for the court to grant intervention,’ said Sekulow. ‘We want to make the strongest arguments possible on behalf of the Schindlers in defending the constitutionality of ‘Terri’s Law.’ To do that, it is imperative that the Schindlers be permitted to intervene in this case.’
While the ACLJ did file an amicus brief on behalf of the Schindlers to ensure that their views would be heard during the appellate process, the ACLJ also made it clear in its brief that limiting the involvement in the Schindlers to the filing of the amicus brief ‘is certainly insufficient to protect the Schindlers’ direct interest in the outcome of this case.’
Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, wants Terri’s feeding and hydration tubes removed. He filed suit challenging the constitutionality of ‘Terri’s Law’ and has the support of the ACLU.
The ACLJ is representing the Schindlers in Schiavo v. Bush ‘ the legal challenge to the constitutionality of the actions of the Governor and state legislature. Patricia Fields Anderson, an attorney in St. Petersburg, is representing Terri’s parents in all other aspects of the Schiavo case.
The ACLJ is an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. and its web address is www.aclj.org. Original source no longer live.