Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Topsy-Turvy Land of Florida Courts

Apparently, in the Florida judicial system, the hieratic powers of its black-robed masters have reached so far as to be able to make darkness light, day into night, and suspend the laws of logic which bind us mere ordinary mortals.

Consider the following:

The trial judge in the Terri Schiavo case, George Greer, ruled that Michael Schiavo's testimony that Terri "wouldn't want to go on living" is "clear and convincing", in spite of it being corroborated only by Michael's brother and sister-in-law, whose corroboration was only gotten into court by a last-minute dodge by attorney George Felos, which violated the rules of civil trial procedure. Greer also ignored substantial contravening testimony against Michael's contention.

The appeals court in Florida keeps Felos on the case, in spite of the above violation, as well as Greer's violation of the rule against ex parte communications, by having impromptu news conferences in his chambers when counsel for both sides are not present.

Now, the Florida Appeals court has ruled that Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird is to remain on the Terri Schiavo case, in spite of evidence that he is biased.

Judge Baird, before any hearings have been held in the matter of "Terri's Law", the legislation which allowed Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene and order Terri's feeding tube restored, has made statements that he believes the law is "presumptively unconstitutional."

To the ordinary person, that sounds like the judge has pre-judged the case. But to Florida Appeals judges, who apparently use a secret code which sounds like the English language, but conveys different meanings, such utterances from Baird are "not improper".
Bush criticized the decision, saying in a statement that "it appears the court has determined that prejudging a case before evidence is presented is acceptable in Florida."

What's really going on is this: the black-robed masters of the Florida judiciary, being accustomed to the unfettered power to call black white by their fiat, are mad as hell that the Florida legislature and Gov. Bush have challenged their ability to exercise raw power, and order an innocent woman's death by judicial ukase.

So now they are going to try to punish Bush, and they will not rest until Terri is dead, if for no other reason than to demonstrate who our masters really are. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And there is no one in this country who exercises power more absolute than a judge, particularly at the appellate level. And once they have tasted the heady brew that is the power over life and death, most will do almost anything to keep it.