Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Jeb in the pressure cooker
"I like to say that there is a constitutional crisis looming in the state of Florida, and the question is will the governor of the state let a district judge tell him how to run his state..." --Rev. Patrick Mahoney, spokesman for Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

Now that the Supreme Court has rejected the Schildlers' appeal -- with no written dissents, by the way -- are you there, Antonin Scalia...? -- the ball is back in Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Court. And it's being batted right at his head by Rev. Pat Mahoney.

Mahoney, who calls himself a spiritual advisor to the Schindlers, is goading Gov. Jeb Bush to essentially violate the district court judge, Judge Greer's order, and to order the Department of Children and Families to go into Terri Schiavo's hospice and have her feeding tube reinserted.

Mahoney is the ultimate provocateur. He has held serial press conferences, goading and even seeming to taunt Republican legislators who control both chambers in Florida's capitol, to "not allow Terri Schiavo to be murdered on their watch." For Republican politicians, Mahoney's strident rhetoric presents a challenge, and a warning -- what will Mahoney and his followers do if Jeb Bush and his advisors decide that he cannot act?

Will they believe that Jeb did all he could for Terri Schiavo, but ultimately failed? Or will they hold this case against him and his annointed successor for governor. What if he runs for Senate, challenging the seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson? What if he runs for president?

Jeb Bush -- a converted Catholic who has shown a high degree of religiosity in the past, to put it kindly, is probably sweating buckets right now... Personally, he probably wants to intervene. But to do so would set one state agency (the Department of Children and Families) against another (the state law enforcement agencies, which have been ordered by Judge Greer to prevent any move by DCF to enter the hospice) -- the state executive branch against the judiciary, and force all the state powers to careen on a very uncomfortable stage.
posted by JReid @ 10:39 AM  
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