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Author Topic: Terri Schiavo  (Read 11774 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2005, 12:52:59 PM »

As I understand it, the Schindlers were granted the right to present their case to  a federal court,  the requests for reinsertion now to Whittemore  were to allow them to do that.  It appears to me that the judge made his decision, by also anticipating the federal court  ruling, and I believe he overstepped his bounds here. 
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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2005, 01:50:02 PM »

Quote
So, severly handicapped baby is born, needs a ventilator to breath, doctor decides baby will never breath on it's own and pulls the plug after 6 months.  This is better than Schiavo?

That is correct.  Here in Texas infants can be taken off life support against the parents' will if a doctor and a panel of "medical ethicists" conclude that it's okay. 

However, I don't think the politicians involved in this case didn't know at the beginning that they would lose.  The problem wasn't legal, it is political.  Conservative constituents and the disabled rights constituents would be furious if their politicians did nothing in this case.  The politicians may have known that it was futile, but their constituents didn't and they demanded action. 

If it is grandstanding, it's grandstanding because we the constituents demand it. 

The good thing about this particular case is that it will highlight the problems with our current system.  Hopefully the forces that are pushing the impotent federal legislation will continue and force legal changes, including changes to the way Texas removes the decisions of life and death from families and hands it to a para-governmental body.
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« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2005, 04:54:34 PM »

SouthSerb99,

We seem to have a fundamentally different view of Jurisprudence, especially in regard to the interpretation of Constitutional Law, and if I was as intelligent as you try to give me credit for, I would probably leave it at that, rather than venturing into your field of expertise to make my case; but, alas, I fear I shall allow my imprudence get the better of me.

Having said that, I'm still going to disagree with your notions of a strict constructionist view of the constitution and in fact all legal doctrine. I know we'll disagree on this point, but strict constructionist Judges lead to guys like Antonin Scalia, who in my books, is certifiable. I think he twists and contorts legal doctrine worse than any of the most "liberal" Judges on the Supreme Court.

In the context of Civil Jurisprudence I do not see how a posistion other than strict constructionism could be construed to be anything other than Judicial Activism. The Constitutional principal of the Seperation of Power relies on each branch of government not oversteping the authority given to them, and avoiding absolute power in anyone's hands; this is, of course, the primary reason that the courts have no power to enforce their decisions, but are dependent on the Executive branch to enforce their decisions (of course, when the Executive branch does not enforce their decisions, like during the incident during Andrew Jackson's administration, there is a Constitutional Crisis and the Court becomes powerless and is dependent upon the Legislative branch). Now as a theocratic monarchist I see inherent problems in this system (as in all democratic and republican systems), though I will admit that this is one of the best attempts at a republican government in history, unfortunately human nature and desire for power can never be dismissed, looking throughout history we see a great many checks and balances that have been removed from our government, and the slow slide into anarchy and despotism; popular election of Senators and Electors, and the election of Electors along party lines (not illegal, but a problem not forseen during the drafting of the Constitution, though later realized, and condemned, by Washington in his farewell address) may not seem like great problems at first, but they are a couple of checks and balances that have been eliminated, and from the course of history we can only logically assume that, with time, the destruction of more will follow.

The Courts overstepping their authority of interpret the meaning of the law and instead infusing their own opinions into the law is another blow against the Checks and Balances that were originally inherent in our system; however, until we can write a computer programme to legislate, and we vote it in as our court system, I do not see how we can avoid this problem in a republican government; save that we, by chance, appoint honest people to fulfill these Judicial Roles, which may happen from time to time, but is hardly a reliable way of maintaining the system. The role of the Judge is to interpret the law in the manner that it was intended to be interpreted, not to infuse their own ideologies, morals, or ethics into the interpretation of law. The place for morals and ethics is in Congress, not in our Courts; our Courts are a place of law, without regard for morals, ethics, or any rights not enumerated in the Constitution, but only for legality.

In regard to Justice Antonin Scalia, I agree with many of his decisions, though not all, where I disagree with his decisions is where he fails in his strict constructionism, one prime example of this is the issue of Abortion. I believe that Roe vs. Wade was a wrong decision on account of the fact that the Constitution does not directly address the issue, and the tenth amendment (I know, it hasn't been cited since the 1850's, but it's still an essential element of our Constitutional law) states that 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,' thus the proper decision of the Federal Courts would be to let each state deicide their own policy. However, in regard to the recent Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003, Justice Scalia has already voiced his support of it (even though it has yet to come before the Supreme Court), and if it comes before the court he will support the law. However, from the strict constructionist view, this law is illegal for the same reason that the Roe vs. Wade decision was wrong, the authority to legislate this area of common law is not given to Congress, and therefore is reserved to the States. Though there is a weak argument that could be made in support of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003 by using Sections 1 and 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution; however, even the most Activist Judge will admit that the original purpose of this Amendment was to ensure equality before the law regardless of race (it was not even initially interpreted in give equality of genders, it actually upholds male-only sufferage); ultimatley, this is a instance when Justice Scalia is letting his morals get in the way of his job, and if he rules the way that he has said he will, he will technically be commiting perjury by failing to uphold his oath of office and responsibilities to the Constitution.

But with that said, I believe that doing ones job properly on the Supreme Court is EXTREMELY difficult, and while Justice Scalia tries, and often does well, at times he fails, for he is only human. This difficulity is a natural result of having the Legislative and Judicial branches seperate, and the ability Judiciary to overturn the decisions of the Legislature, if the Judiciary does not interpret laws in the strict constructionist manner, they become nothing more than a new super-legislative branch of government. Because of this difficult posistion of the Judicial branch, many ethical issues do arise, and because of them I would question whether or not it is an office that it would be acceptable for an Orthodox Christian to hold, for in holding it one will most likely be required to either commit perjury, and not uphold his oath of office, or to act contrary to the moral values of the Chruch (See Canon 29 of St. Basil for more detail).

If I may analagize for a second (and I maybe making a huge mistake), but my impression of strict constructionists (legally speaking) is like reading the OT, without the NT.

I don't believe your analogy to be fair in regard to strict constructionists, for strict constructionists dont believe in the absolute nature of the law, they simply support the Constitutional system and due process (or at least, like myself, believe that these methods are better than the alternative of Legislation from the Bench). For example, though I have expressed my opinion that the Supreme Court has a responsibility to rule Abortion to be a States Rights issue, I am completely opposed to abortion as being nothing more than premeditated murder, and would strongly support a Constitutional Amendment to ban it; however, that's where the due process comes in, the courts shouldn't be allowed to ban it, we should have to use the constitutional procedure to Amend the Constitution, at which time it becomes Constitutional law, and the Court is then obliged to uphold the law. The Constitution is not a Static Document, this is attested to by the 27 Amendments we have today; however, with that said, a Constitutional provision is law until it is overturned by an amendment, and should be interpreted in the manner that it was intended, if another situation comes up, you must go through the process of amendment again.

I think, reading the constitution, without some interpretation, is disastrous, and I would argue very un-Christian.

Well, as a theocratic monarchist, I would probably argue that are entire system of Government is un-Christian; but that's an issue for a different day. But with respect, I believe that you are confusing the role of the Judiciary with the role of Constitutional Conventions.

Remember, at the time the Constitution was drafted, blacks were viewed as sub-human as were women and probably most (not all) non-Anglos (or those closely related). So I think there is some danger in this.

I'm quite familiar with American history, from both a Social and Legal Perspective; women were not allowed to vote and blacks were 3/5ths of a person (though, ironically, it was the Slave States that wanted them to be legally considered a whole person (though without voting rights, of course), for reasons of representation, 3/5ths was a compromise), and yes I believe that at the time the Supreme Court ruled properly in the Dred Scott, they were not at liberty to rule otherwise, for to do so would have been a violation of their Constitutional Powers. However, with time, the problem was solved through the process of Constitutional Amendment, and the Dred Scott decision was made irrelevant (mind you I believe there were a few problems surrounding the radification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments...but that's a discussion for another day, and probably another board, as well).

So dont take the posistion of the Strict-Constructionists to be necessarily a support of all the Social Principles of the Authors of the Constitution, but rather it is (the Constitutional) posistion that advocates due process over Judicial Legislation. I know I may have gone on more than some would think appropriate to this fourm, but since we are dealing with the legal issues surrounding the Terri Schiavo case, I believe some Legal Philosophy and Constitutional Law is called for...plus, it's a fun subject Wink
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« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2005, 05:49:32 PM »

I'm only going to respond to one thing you said... that Constitutional Law "is a fun subject"

I would like to introduce my entire first year Constitutional Law class as People's Exhibit "A".

"Your honour, I would ask that this Honorable Court take judicial notice that people's "A", will testify that Constitutional Law, is not a fun subject".

The Court:   "Duly Noted, now move one counsellor".

SouthSerb99:  "That is it your honor, we have nothing else.  We'd like to move the Court for a directed verdict against our extremely intellectual Orthodox brother greekischristian".

The Court:    "Granted, Mr. Greekischristian, I sentence you to the continuous study of US Constitutional Law, at that bastion of liberalism, Harvard Law School.  You will study Con Law undisturbed for a period of 1 year, after which, the Court is convinced you will be rehabilitated of any and all notions that 'Con Law' is fun".

...greekischristian, taken away kicking and screaming (because he's going to Harvard) LOL  Wink
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« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2005, 07:41:11 PM »

I guess there's something wrong with me but I really liked Con Law.  In fact, I liked it so much that I took upper division con law classes in my 2nd and 3rd years. 

greekchristian, I'm not persuaded by originalist claims.  Because ultimately it boils down to what do these terms mean?  What does "due process" mean?  First day of law school question, what is property?  Based on my studies of constitutional law, the meaning of "due process," liberty and property have evolved over time. 

I think, also, that we should remember that the federal courts have always been 'interventionalist' in certain matters.

Ultimately I think I'm persuaded by the idea of a 'penumbra' (can't remember how to spell this for the life of me) of rights.  It's true that the Constitution doesn't specifically mention a right to privacy but I think most of think it's self-evident that the state must have very good reason to intrude into the family.  For example, the concept of a right to privacy didn't start with Roe.  It goes back to some 1920's cases having to do with educating children.  The state of Oregon outlawed private schools and a group of nuns appealed.  How you choose to educate your children is not in the constitution but I believe it's a right that should be protected by the constitution. 

My beef with 'origalism' is that it's too simplistic (IMHO).  The constitution is an evolving document and the courts, ever since Marberry, have claimed the ultimate power to interpret it.  I see the constitution as being like the Bible.  There has to be one central authority who gets to interpret it.  In Orthodoxy, it's the Church.  In our government it's the courts. 

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« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2005, 09:24:18 PM »

SouthSerb99,

You're right, I would probably be kicking and screaming if I was forced to study anything at harvard...lol Wink

Jennifer,

No one is saying that the Constitution is a static document, it has evolved, we call these evolutions amendments. My objection is when the courts try and do the job of a Constitutional Convention. We have certain rights, neither education nor privacy (except against unreasonable searches without a warrent) are amongst these rights, if we want to have those things established as 'rights' that's the responsibility of the Legislative Branches of the Several State Governments, they alone have the constitutional authority to grant those rights. If the constitution were without an amendment process, there would be a genuine problem; but this is not the situation, the problem is that people want to be able to make changes at a whim, rather than requiring the consensus of the States.

This is also the case in the Church, one Bishop (even a Metropolitan or Patriarch) is not supposed to go off and make his own decisions without consulting his Synod. According to Canon 34 of the Apostles, decisions are to be made by the consensus of all the Bishops.
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« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2005, 11:06:04 PM »


We have certain rights, neither education nor privacy (except against unreasonable searches without a warrent) are amongst these rights, if we want to have those things established as 'rights' that's the responsibility of the Legislative Branches of the Several State Governments, they alone have the constitutional authority to grant those rights.

greekchristian, the problem with your approach is that in actuality, it's never worked that way.  Almost from the beginning, the Supreme Court has claimed the right to interpret the Constitution. 

Question, would you have decided Pierce differently?  If you don't know, Pierce is the famous private school case I referred to above.  The people of the state or Oregon, under the influence of the KKK, passed an initiatve which banned private schools.  The Supreme Cour struck down the initiative finding that it violated the privacy rights of parents.  A similar law from Nebraska, struck down at roughly the same time, outlawed the teaching of German in schools.  I argue that both of these laws (both motivated by religious and racial bigotry) violated the constitutional rights of parents in these states even though the right to send your child to whatever school you want is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.  The right of parents to educate their children as they see fit is a God given right and one could argue that our founding fathers meant to enshring "natural law" rights. 

Plenty of other laws have been passed by legislatures or through popular initiatives that violate that rights of minorities.  Through judicial review, the courts protect against tyranny by the majority. 

I think you're also forgetting that the courts, especially the Supreme Court, are very attentive to the popular mood of the country.  The most example being the "stitch in time that saved nine," where the Supreme Court got with Roosevelt's new deal program really quickly when they realized FDR was considering packing the court.  If one was to study supreme court decisions over time, one would see that their decisions (with a few glaring exceptions) follow public opinion. 

Now as for your claim that the only legitimate "evolutions" of the Constitution are its amendments, how are we to determine what "due process" is?  Due process is messy and that's why SCOTUS switched to equal protection analyses after WWII.  I think it was Justice Frankfurther, when asked to help draft a constitution for the state of Israel, who advised against including a due process clause because Americans had been fighting over what "due process" was from the beginning. 

Due process analysis is a classic example of the 'evolution' of the Constitution.  What does it mean?  Does due process mean that a defendant is due representation?  It didn't at one time, now it does. 

What is property?  What is liberty? 

I support the system we have (with the courts having the authority to judicially review statutes and interpret the Constitution) because it works.  It's not perfect.  It's been messy sometimes.  There are some shameful decisions, e.g. Dred Scott and Plessy.  But I think it works better than the alternatives.  Keeping in mind, that the system has worked this way from the beginning so we really don't know how the alternatives would have worked.  I'm persuaded by the arguments for judicial review.  The democratic system doesn't always protect the rights of minorities (I don't just mean ethnic and religious minorities). 

What do you mean by "constitutional authority?"  How do you know what the constitution means?  I would argue that you're engaging in private interpetation and we all know what that lead to in religion, anarchy.  I think it's important to remember that many of the founding fathers were still around when Marberry was decided.  I would argue their silence indicates agreement with judicial review. 
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« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2005, 11:21:58 PM »

Forgive me for just barging into this conversation, but greekischristian keeps reiterating something that I have to thoroughly disagree with.  The government does not grant us rights.  The people created the government and delegated certain powers to it; everything else they retained for themselves.  If you look at the way every part of the Constitution dealing with rights is phrased, they are not affirmative grants of rights.  They are instead prohibitions upon the government infringing upon those rights.  Furthermore, the Ninth Amendment explicity states that the mere fact that a right is not enumerated within the Constitution does not mean that right doesn't exist, which is how the courts get off with "creating" new rights.  Rather than "creating" a new right, the courts merely affirm that it is a right, and even that generally happens after an attempt to abridge it.  There may not currently be a recognized right to wear the color black, but that right would be recognized pretty quickly as soon as someone legislated a prohibition against that color.

And I think that's thoroughly disjointed enough for one post...

P.S.  SouthSerb, I agree with greekischristian that Con Law is fun.  Aside from Crim Law, it's about the only one of my classes that I actually look forward to.
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« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2005, 12:53:17 AM »

Jennifer,

greekchristian, the problem with your approach is that in actuality, it's never worked that way. Almost from the beginning, the Supreme Court has claimed the right to interpret the Constitution.

No one has seriously questioned that since Marbury (well, perhaps the wisdom of the decision, but not the decision itself); however, reading Chief Justice Marshall's decision on this case we see not only why but also how the Constitution should be interpreted, with regard to the letter of the law, going almost to the point of parsing the sentences. Moreover, this is how we see courts interpreting the Constitution throughout the majority of the 19th Century (granted I'm not as well read in 19th century Supreme court decisions as I should be, but this is my observation as well as the observation of others I have read on the issue), my understanding that Judicial Activism, or interpreting the Constitution not on the text itself but on non-Constitutional principles, is an primarially an inovation of the 20th century.

Question, would you have decided Pierce differently? If you don't know, Pierce is the famous private school case I referred to above. The people of the state or Oregon, under the influence of the KKK, passed an initiatve which banned private schools. The Supreme Cour struck down the initiative finding that it violated the privacy rights of parents. A similar law from Nebraska, struck down at roughly the same time, outlawed the teaching of German in schools. I argue that both of these laws (both motivated by religious and racial bigotry) violated the constitutional rights of parents in these states even though the right to send your child to whatever school you want is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The right of parents to educate their children as they see fit is a God given right and one could argue that our founding fathers meant to enshring "natural law" rights.

To answer your question, yes, I would have decided Pierce differently, IMO it is a fairly simple case:

The Constitution does not grant the federal government jurisdiction over issues of education, therefore, by the tenth amendment, they are reserved to the State, therefore the Supreme Court has no Jurisdiction.

Now, if they just banned say Catholic schools, or private schools with religious affiliation, it would be a different case.

Though I will confess that the intentions of this court were good, they failed to do their job and uphold their oath of office, and in doing so they set an (unconstitutional) precedent that was used by Burger court in their Roe vs. Wade decision (not that a decision in favour of states rights in Pierce would have changed the outcome of Roe, but it certainly didn't help matters).

Plenty of other laws have been passed by legislatures or through popular initiatives that violate that rights of minorities. Through judicial review, the courts protect against tyranny by the majority.

The Roe decision pretty much undermines this argument, yes a legislative body can trample the rights of a man, but so can a 9 Person panel. Until we can come up with a better way of choosing our Justices (i.e. by the Patriarchal Synod...or even by birth, anything outside our political system would be preferable), I will favour the consensus of the States, as is manifested through the Amendment Process, erroring on the side of States Rights.

I think you're also forgetting that the courts, especially the Supreme Court, are very attentive to the popular mood of the country. The most example being the "stitch in time that saved nine," where the Supreme Court got with Roosevelt's new deal program really quickly when they realized FDR was considering packing the court. If one was to study supreme court decisions over time, one would see that their decisions (with a few glaring exceptions) follow public opinion.

The balance of power is very delicate, just as it is upset when Judges legislate from the bench, so also is it threatened when the Executive branch tries to undermine it (e.g. Andrew Jackson and FDR). (wouldn't theocracy be so much simpler?...and it would probably work better)

Due process analysis is a classic example of the 'evolution' of the Constitution. What does it mean? Does due process mean that a defendant is due representation? It didn't at one time, now it does.

I would say that it is what the Authors of the Bill of Rights thought it to be, which would be the protections guaranteed by the Writ of Habeas Corpus and the 4th through 7th amendments. (Sorry, no lawyer included...not that I'm trying to put you out of work)

What is property? What is liberty?

I presume you've read Locke...this is where the entire 'Life, Liberty, Property' rights concept came from, I think it's pretty safe to presume that Locke's understanding was the understanding of the framers.

What do you mean by "constitutional authority?" How do you know what the constitution means? I would argue that you're engaging in private interpetation and we all know what that lead to in religion, anarchy. I think it's important to remember that many of the founding fathers were still around when Marberry was decided. I would argue their silence indicates agreement with judicial review.

I dont think I really need to go off on the details of Strict Constructionism, but suffice it to say I am not advocating private opinion, that is exactly what I am opposed to, judges inserting their private opinion, rather than trying to invoke the opinion of the framers on the issue. My point is the consensus through constitutional convention is preferable than changes at the whims of a small number of judges (who are no less political than the members of congress, regardless of what they claim).
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« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2005, 01:12:21 AM »

Forgive me for just barging into this conversation, but greekischristian keeps reiterating something that I have to thoroughly disagree with.

You're welcome to barge in at any time...just be advised that Canon Law, not Secular Law is my expertise, so dont expect too much. Wink

The government does not grant us rights. The people created the government and delegated certain powers to it; everything else they retained for themselves.

Canonist greekischristian says:
That's funny, I thought that authority to rule, came from God.

Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Actually the federal government was Created by the States, not by the People, the rights were retained by the Sovereign States.

If you look at the way every part of the Constitution dealing with rights is phrased, they are not affirmative grants of rights. They are instead prohibitions upon the government infringing upon those rights. Furthermore, the Ninth Amendment explicity states that the mere fact that a right is not enumerated within the Constitution does not mean that right doesn't exist, which is how the courts get off with "creating" new rights. Rather than "creating" a new right, the courts merely affirm that it is a right, and even that generally happens after an attempt to abridge it. There may not currently be a recognized right to wear the color black, but that right would be recognized pretty quickly as soon as someone legislated a prohibition against that color.

Canonist greekischristian says:
We dont really have rights, we have responsibilities, this entire notion of 'rights' is an enlightenment-invention, and fundamentally opposed to the Christian understanding of our Relationship with God, His Church, His Princes, and one another.

Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Again, all these rights of which you speak are retained by the bodies of power that created these United States, namely the States themselves; thus, the definition of these rights is likewise reserved to the States, and the people insofar as they are citizens of these States. Moreover, the 14th Amendment does not change the fact that the definition of these rights are reserved to the states, but only that these rights, as defined by the states, must be equally applied to all the Citizens of the several United States.
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« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2005, 01:59:29 AM »


No one has seriously questioned that since Marbury (well, perhaps the wisdom of the decision, but not the decision itself);

Marbury!  I knew I was spelling it wrong.  I am the world's worst speller. 

Quote
Moreover, this is how we see courts interpreting the Constitution throughout the majority of the 19th Century (granted I'm not as well read in 19th century Supreme court decisions as I should be, but this is my observation as well as the observation of others I have read on the issue), my understanding that Judicial Activism, or interpreting the Constitution not on the text itself but on non-Constitutional principles, is an primarially an inovation of the 20th century.

Judicial activism is loaded term.  It's usually only applied to court decisions that we don't like.  There are plenty of 'conservative' decisions that could properly be described as "judicial activism."

Regarding the 19th century cases.  It's been a year since I graduated from law school (it's shocking that I can remember so little of what I learned!) but I distinctly remember reading 19th century cases that were just as "activist" as Brown.  For example, there was a case, 1820's or so, where the Fugitive Slave Act was said to supersede a Pennsylvania law which protected runaway slaves.  I don't recall the specifics. 

Quote
To answer your question, yes, I would have decided Pierce differently, IMO it is a fairly simple case:

The Constitution does not grant the federal government jurisdiction over issues of education, therefore, by the tenth amendment, they are reserved to the State, therefore the Supreme Court has no Jurisdiction.

Now, if they just banned say Catholic schools, or private schools with religious affiliation, it would be a different case.

Why?  Does "freedom of religion" encompass the right to educate children in secular subjects?  And what's religion?  Would a school with a secular humanist philosophy be considered a religious school? 

BTW, even though education is reserved to the states, the Supreme Court still has jurisdiction if a constitutional right is involved.  For example, if a state law burdened religious education, the Supreme Court would have jurisdiction. 

Quote
Though I will confess that the intentions of this court were good, they failed to do their job and uphold their oath of office, and in doing so they set an (unconstitutional) precedent that was used by Burger court in their Roe vs. Wade decision (not that a decision in favour of states rights in Pierce would have changed the outcome of Roe, but it certainly didn't help matters).

Roe is a strange case and a lot of constitutional law scholars argue that it's based on very shaky grounds. 

BTW, if they say it's constitutional, it's constitutional.  It may be stupid, e.g. Plessy, but the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the Constitution. 

Quote
The Roe decision pretty much undermines this argument, yes a legislative body can trample the rights of a man, but so can a 9 Person panel. Until we can come up with a better way of choosing our Justices (i.e. by the Patriarchal Synod...or even by birth, anything outside our political system would be preferable), I will favour the consensus of the States, as is manifested through the Amendment Process, erroring on the side of States Rights.

The federal government has been 'trampling' on the rights of states since the beginning. 

Quote
I presume you've read Locke...this is where the entire 'Life, Liberty, Property' rights concept came from, I think it's pretty safe to presume that Locke's understanding was the understanding of the framers.

I'm not an originalist so I don't think the framer's understanding trumps modern understanding.  I think the framers' understanding is something that should be considered but it shouldn't be authoritative.  American society has changed and the constitution should be allowed to 'evolve' with changing popular understandings of rights. 

Quote
I dont think I really need to go off on the details of Strict Constructionism, but suffice it to say I am not advocating private opinion, that is exactly what I am opposed to, judges inserting their private opinion, rather than trying to invoke the opinion of the framers on the issue. My point is the consensus through constitutional convention is preferable than changes at the whims of a small number of judges (who are no less political than the members of congress, regardless of what they claim).

I would argue that strict construtionalism is impossible.  Like you wrote earlier, "pretty safe to presume."  What you "presume" has got to be based on private interpretation.  We can't 'channel' the framers.  We'd have to weed through their writings (which are undoubtedly contradictory because the framers evolved themselves, plus who's a framer and who isn't?).  I've read plenty of law review articles advocating different opinions about what the framers thought about a subject. 

As an analogy, the absence of regulation is regulation.  Make sense?  It's the same thing here.  Plenty of Scalia's opinions supposedly relying constructionalism strike me as private interpretation.  He sees the framers' writings through his 'filter.' 

But this discussion is irrelevant because the system we have won't change.  Supposedly conservative judges are just as activist as liberal judges.  Rehnquist, for example, has authored some activist opinions (the one on the ban on weapons around a school comes to mind).  All of our mainstream politicians believe in the power of the federal government.  I would argue that the idea of "state's rights" is antiquated in our modern society.  During the time of the framers, people weren't mobile.  Therefore someone would likely have an allegiance to only one state.  Today, states don't really mean much.  Besides a resurgence of states rights would likely burden interstate commerce (don't want to get into that complicated discussion!) so the courts would step in.  Our economy is too interconnected to allow significant differences between the states. 
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« Reply #56 on: March 24, 2005, 09:17:14 AM »

Jennifer,

     Okay... now we have a big problem... YOU LIKED CON LAW??? Tongue  I've always been a Tort man myself. LOL

The rest of you...

     I'm probably more to blame for the Con Law discussion here, but if I wanted to discuss Con Law, I would have joined www.obnoxiouslawyers.comWink
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« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2005, 09:41:28 AM »

Quote
I've always been a Tort man myself.

We did torts last semester. I never realized how screwed up the common law is - intention is imputed on a mental patient escapee who jumps in front of a bus causing mental harm to the driver, because he ought to have acted reasonably from the perspective of the reasonable person? Is American law this carked? Anyways, it was a BREEZE, and that’s all that matters for me.

Now we’re burning in the flames of contract lawGǪGǪGod help me.

And all I wanted to do was fly planesGǪ.

Anyways, this was one useless/worthless waste of a post eh..., im bored.

Peace.
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« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2005, 09:48:40 AM »

Its okay, you needed a temporary reprieve after the novel you wrote to Mr. Thinks he's Messiah.  I think the Iliad had less pages.  Wink

Too many lawyers around here, its starting to make me a little uneasy.
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« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2005, 10:26:06 AM »

Jennifer,

 Okay... now we have a big problem... YOU LIKED CON LAW??? Tongue I've always been a Tort man myself. LOL

The rest of you...

 I'm probably more to blame for the Con Law discussion here, but if I wanted to discuss Con Law, I would have joined www.obnoxiouslawyers.com. Wink

LOL! I thought I detected a trial lawyer in our midst  Cheesy
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« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2005, 10:41:48 AM »

Since you can fit my knowledge of the canons in a thimble and have room for a large thumb left over, I'm not going to touch them. Tongue

Quote
Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Actually the federal government was Created by the States, not by the People, the rights were retained by the Sovereign States.

The people created the several states, and the states in turn delegated some of their powers to the federal government.  The Tenth Amendment reserved to the several states any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, but the only powers reserved were ones already possessed (falling under the blanket police power, more or less). 

Quote
Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Again, all these rights of which you speak are retained by the bodies of power that created these United States, namely the States themselves; thus, the definition of these rights is likewise reserved to the States, and the people insofar as they are citizens of these States. Moreover, the 14th Amendment does not change the fact that the definition of these rights are reserved to the states, but only that these rights, as defined by the states, must be equally applied to all the Citizens of the several United States.

Again, it is governmental authority that is retained to the several states, not rights.  Rights can only exist in individual persons and governmental authority is created by ceding portions of one's rights to the government.  Rights are not created by the government ceding portions of its authority to the people.
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« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2005, 11:08:44 AM »

LOL! I thought I detected a trial lawyer in our midst  Cheesy

+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é,

      Careful!  I'm researching all positions on intentional infliction of emotional distress right now.  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2005, 11:20:41 AM »

+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é,

 Careful! I'm researching all positions on intentional infliction of emotional distress right now. Wink

No problem Bro...
With 4 attorneys in my immediate family including a sitting judge (do they ever stand?) I am not intimidated - family reunions are interesting, however.  Cheesy
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« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2005, 11:22:40 AM »

With 4 attorneys in my immediate family including a sitting judge (do they ever stand?) I am not intimidated - family reunions are interesting, however.  Cheesy

This undoubtedly creates for some good debates, heck, you even have a built in family mediator.
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« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2005, 11:25:21 AM »



This undoubtedly creates for some good debates, heck, you even have a built in family mediator.

Yeah...Mom.
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« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2005, 11:30:16 AM »

The particular thing I find ironic is the fact that my liberal-minded Kerry-loving working-class friends support the continuation of life for Terri Schiavo and support her 100%.

Yet the Orthodox community, as demonstrated here and in person, has no desire to support this woman, no desire to support the basic right of a person to life.

I have heard several Roman Catholic and Protestant preachers and priests made the correlation between what Christ endured this Holy Week with what Terri is enduring. They stand outside, praying, talking to the press, and keep people informed on many aspects of the matter. Yet, no Orthodox priest or bishop has spoken on the matter. Instead the gamut of replies is as follows: "OH that is too western!" "Oh Orthodox don't rule on everything!"

Instead, I think it's a bunch of elitist garbage on your part.

As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers.  The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

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« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2005, 11:35:50 AM »

truthfinder,
I don't think you have a good sampling here of Orthodox opinion on the Schiavo issue. The point is as Orthodox we should not even need the Church to tell us how to react - compassion should be be a natural response without needless legalistic argument, no?

Demetri
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« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2005, 11:39:32 AM »

well, that was strange, I just posted a reply to jenifer, and everything disappeared, the one time I forgot to save my post to my clipboard before posting...oh well, here's a bit briefer response (which I'm sure everyone will be grateful for)

Regarding the 19th century cases. It's been a year since I graduated from law school (it's shocking that I can remember so little of what I learned!) but I distinctly remember reading 19th century cases that were just as "activist" as Brown. For example, there was a case, 1820's or so, where the Fugitive Slave Act was said to supersede a Pennsylvania law which protected runaway slaves. I don't recall the specifics.

I believe you're refering to Prigg v. Pennsylvania, I think it was sometime in the early 40's; most Strict Constructionists view this case as consonant with their Philosophy. It was ruled that one State cannot deprive the Citizen of another State (Supreme Court has jurisdiction because Prigg was from Maryland) of his Property (i.e. Slaves) (though, prior to the 14th Amendment, they could deprive their own citizens, without due process, which allowed for emancipation in certain states), as soon as his property passes into their State (pretty much the same basis for the Dred Scott decision) as this would be a severe hinderance of Interstate Commerce. However, Pennsylvania was not required to Enforce the Fugitive Slave Act (Federal Law, thus not Binding on the States, as long as they dont interfere), they simply could not legally deny the Slaveowner his Property Rights.

Why? Does "freedom of religion" encompass the right to educate children in secular subjects? And what's religion? Would a school with a secular humanist philosophy be considered a religious school?

BTW, even though education is reserved to the states, the Supreme Court still has jurisdiction if a constitutional right is involved. For example, if a state law burdened religious education, the Supreme Court would have jurisdiction.

What I'm getting at is that the Supreme Court only has Jurisdiction if the State violates the rights enumerated in the constitution, or does not uphold equality under the law.

BTW, if they say it's constitutional, it's constitutional. It may be stupid, e.g. Plessy, but the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the Constitution.

legally, yes; philosophically, no.

I would argue that strict construtionalism is impossible. Like you wrote earlier, "pretty safe to presume." What you "presume" has got to be based on private interpretation. We can't 'channel' the framers. We'd have to weed through their writings (which are undoubtedly contradictory because the framers evolved themselves, plus who's a framer and who isn't?). I've read plenty of law review articles advocating different opinions about what the framers thought about a subject.

I'm not saying it's a fix all solution, or that there will never be any more debate, law is a complex subject that requires not only knowledge of the texts of the law, but of the culture and society in which they were promulgated, the understanding of various world views and how those world views interact. What I am saying is that Justice requires an absolute Standard of Law (it can change, but at any given time it must be absolute), and the only way that can be achieved is if we try to always use the original interpretation.

But this discussion is irrelevant because the system we have won't change. Supposedly conservative judges are just as activist as liberal judges. Rehnquist, for example, has authored some activist opinions (the one on the ban on weapons around a school comes to mind). All of our mainstream politicians believe in the power of the federal government. I would argue that the idea of "state's rights" is antiquated in our modern society. During the time of the framers, people weren't mobile. Therefore someone would likely have an allegiance to only one state. Today, states don't really mean much. Besides a resurgence of states rights would likely burden interstate commerce (don't want to get into that complicated discussion!) so the courts would step in. Our economy is too interconnected to allow significant differences between the states.

I think it is relevant, mabey not for US law, because that probably wont change, but for the Philosophy of Law. Just remember that this 'evolution' can go both ways, both with more and fewer rights, the second amendment being a prime example. This is why I believe the very Nature of Justice requires an Absolute (though alterable) standard, I dont see how this can be altered outside of either extreme literalism (what exactly is written, regardless of intent) or originalism.
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« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2005, 11:46:05 AM »

The people created the several states, and the states in turn delegated some of their powers to the federal government. The Tenth Amendment reserved to the several states any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, but the only powers reserved were ones already possessed (falling under the blanket police power, more or less).

Actually the Crown Created the Colonies, and the Colonies as whole entities, seceded from the Crown (big mistake), the people were not involved in their Creation. Thus the States essentially had whatever Rights they claimed.

Again, it is governmental authority that is retained to the several states, not rights. Rights can only exist in individual persons and governmental authority is created by ceding portions of one's rights to the government. Rights are not created by the government ceding portions of its authority to the people.

Actually any entity can have Rights, we talk about the rights of individuals, yes, but also of the rights of corporations, or of the rights of nations in the context of treaties and by direct analogy the rights of the states in the context of the federal system. Regardless of what certain framers said concerning government being derived from the people, historically that was not the case, it really came from the Crown, and then the State Legislatures that rebelled against the Crown; and in a Christian Context the notion is fairly absurd, as authority to Govern comes from God.
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« Reply #69 on: March 24, 2005, 12:00:43 PM »

Actually the Crown Created the Colonies, and the Colonies as whole entities, seceded from the Crown (big mistake), the people were not involved in their Creation. Thus the States essentially had whatever Rights they claimed.

Monarchies still derive their authority from the ceded rights of the governed.  This is basic Hobbesian political theory.  When the colonies seceded, in essence what happened was that the colonists revoked their cession of rights to the Crown and vested those ceded rights in the several states.

Actually any entity can have Rights, we talk about the rights of individuals, yes, but also of the rights of corporations, or of the rights of nations in the context of treaties and by direct analogy the rights of the states in the context of the federal system. Regardless of what certain framers said concerning government being derived from the people, historically that was not the case, it really came from the Crown, and then the State Legislatures that rebelled against the Crown; and in a Christian Context the notion is fairly absurd, as authority to Govern comes from God.

While you're technically correct that entities other than individuals have rights, they have those rights through a legal fiction, wherein the corporation or state is deemed to be a person for certain purposes.  They don't have any rights in and of themselves, in the manner that individuals do.
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« Reply #70 on: March 24, 2005, 12:16:05 PM »

Instead, I think it's a bunch of elitist garbage on your part.

As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers.  The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

Truthfinder,

    I think you've probably managed to insult everyone on this board with these few lines.  If "we" Orthodox discuss "elitist garbage", I would argue, you are free not to read it.

    Furthermore, there has been a lot of debate here  from both sides of the issue.  Greekischristian & Demetri both are strong proponents of re-inserting the feeding tube, I'm not sure it is any easy answer.  Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers.

    If you are looking for Evangelical bandwagonning, sorry I'm not interested.

    Frankly, whether you like trial lawyers or not, is of no concern to me.  With just a little bit of knowledge of Orthodoxy and (just a tad) of an open mind, you'll understand that as a matter of our faith, we do not seek to explain all things divine.  I don't think that is "elitist garbage".

    The form of God is ineffable and indescribable, and cannot be seen with eyes of flesh.  He is in glory uncontainable, in greatness incomprehensible, in loftiness inconceivable, in strength incomparable, in wisdom inaccessible, in love inimitable, in beneficence inexpressible.  Just as the soul in a man is not seen, since it is invisible to men, but we know of its existence through the movements of the body, so God cannot be seen by human eyes bue his seen and known through his providence and his works. -- Theophilus of Antioch
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« Reply #71 on: March 24, 2005, 12:22:12 PM »

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

Well, I can tell you this, I'd never use my "legal talent" to promulgate laws which advocate the capital murder of mentally retarded children who have committed crimes in Texas.

Oh, but maybe those lives don't have much sanctity.
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« Reply #72 on: March 24, 2005, 01:30:34 PM »


As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers. The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.


Obviously.   Roll Eyes

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« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2005, 03:07:53 PM »

We seem to have moved from the realm of american political philosophy to political philosophy in general, so I shall answer accordingly

Monarchies still derive their authority from the ceded rights of the governed. This is basic Hobbesian political theory. When the colonies seceded, in essence what happened was that the colonists revoked their cession of rights to the Crown and vested those ceded rights in the several states.

Yes, I am familiar with Hobbes' Political Theory, but like most of the works of the rationaists, I tend to dismiss it as pseudo-intellectualism. Rather, I favour the older notion of the Divine Right of Kings, that is to say that the Monarch derives his authority from God, not the People, as God is the Source of all Authority. This seems to me to be most consonant with the words of instruction of St. Paul to the Romans, 'Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.' The Autority to govern was invested, by God, in the Crown, the Legislative bodies usurped the God given authority of the King (hence the moral problem with the revolution); however, it was these legislative bodies that usurped the power, it was they that declared independence, thus the fundamental political unit of the State is derived from the Crown, and therefore all rights to govern are invested in these entities, the people really never come into the picture.

While you're technically correct that entities other than individuals have rights, they have those rights through a legal fiction, wherein the corporation or state is deemed to be a person for certain purposes. They don't have any rights in and of themselves, in the manner that individuals do.

'Rights' (I hate that word) are those things which come from God, in respect to your relationship with your government, your 'rights' according to St. Paul are to 'Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.' The 'rights' that subjects have in relation to their government are the privileges that the Government grants them, the only truly inalienable right is the freedom of thought, for it is the one that cannot be forcefully taken away (though it is often give freely).

'People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.'
     -- Soren Kierkegaard
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« Reply #74 on: March 24, 2005, 03:57:08 PM »

Orthodox Church in America responds to the case of Terri Schaivo

Article posted: 3/24/2005

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — In a statement dated March 24,
2005, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, chancellor of the Orthodox
Church in America, addressed the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo.

"As affirmed on numerous occasions in recent years, the Orthodox
Church in America fully recognizes and proclaims the sanctity of all
human life, created in the image and likeness of God," Father
Kondratick said. "Life is a gift from God, one which we are expected
as Orthodox Christians to revere and steward in a wise manner, fully
recognizing the image of the Creator in every human being.

"In light of this fundamental principle, it has also been affirmed
on numerous occasions in the past that extraordinary means of
prolonging life, as well as extraordinary means of ending life, are
inconsistent with the wise stewardship of God's gift of life,"
Father Kondratick continued. "This is especially crucial in cases in
which no clear consensus has been determined with regard to a
person's state, as in the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo. As such, the
removal of Mrs. Schaivo from feeding tubes as a means of hastening
her death can in no way be condoned or supported. Doing so
constitutes a gross lack of wise stewardship of God's sacred gift of
life and an extraordinary means of hastening her death by
starvation. This is especially so in light of the fact that there
has been no clear consensus on her level of awareness and
responsiveness, that she has been and continues to breath on her
own, and on numerous other factors and questions with regard to her
long term prognosis. Simply stated, the removal of Mrs. Schaivo's
feeding tubes is not and cannot be condoned."

OCA News release:

http://www.oca.org/News.asp?ID=764&SID=19
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« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2005, 05:03:54 PM »

So there we have it, an official statement that the Orthodox Church does not condone murder...and I was starting to wonder, good thing we cleared that issue up. Wink
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« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2005, 08:53:26 PM »

Quote
Orthodox Church in America responds to the case of Terri Schaivo

Article posted: 3/24/2005

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — In a statement dated March 24,
2005, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, chancellor of the Orthodox
Church in America, addressed the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo.

"As affirmed on numerous occasions in recent years, the Orthodox
Church in America fully recognizes and proclaims the sanctity of all
human life, created in the image and likeness of God," Father
Kondratick said. "Life is a gift from God, one which we are expected
as Orthodox Christians to revere and steward in a wise manner, fully
recognizing the image of the Creator in every human being.

"In light of this fundamental principle, it has also been affirmed
on numerous occasions in the past that extraordinary means of
prolonging life, as well as extraordinary means of ending life, are
inconsistent with the wise stewardship of God's gift of life,"
Father Kondratick continued. "This is especially crucial in cases in
which no clear consensus has been determined with regard to a
person's state, as in the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo. As such, the
removal of Mrs. Schaivo from feeding tubes as a means of hastening
her death can in no way be condoned or supported. Doing so
constitutes a gross lack of wise stewardship of God's sacred gift of
life and an extraordinary means of hastening her death by
starvation. This is especially so in light of the fact that there
has been no clear consensus on her level of awareness and
responsiveness, that she has been and continues to breath on her
own, and on numerous other factors and questions with regard to her
long term prognosis. Simply stated, the removal of Mrs. Schaivo's
feeding tubes is not and cannot be condoned."

OCA News release:

I am very pleased with this statement.

I am also amazed at a "certian group" of people who are so passionate about pulling the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. Without naming names, I will say that it is always this "certian group" who falls down on the wrong side of the issues of life; it just amazes me.
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« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2005, 11:39:12 PM »

Thank the Lord that the church issued this statement. I was beginning to wonder if it hadn't read the papers or heard the news or was unable to take a clear position...
May God have mercy.

In His Holy Name, Kizzy
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« Reply #78 on: March 25, 2005, 12:46:02 AM »

I was wondering if the GOA had issued a statement and they haven't - at least not on their website. HOWEVER, they do have  a very lengthy section on Orthodoxy and social issues, which includes bioethics and Euthanasia, among other topics. It is consistent on the OCA statement, though written obviously more generically, for reference in all situations.   

 After a discussion on the terminally ill and suffering, in which the church clarifies it as someone who will imminently die and all body functions are not working properly, it mentions that praying for the 'soul to leave the body' is appropriate, rather than artificially keeping this from happening.  Then the article continues as follows:

"...However, it must be emphasized that this is a prayer directed to God, who, for the Orthodox, has ultimate dominion over life and death. Consequently, the preceding discussion in no way supports the practice of euthanasia. Euthanasia is held by some to be morally justified and/or morally required to terminate the life of an incurably sick person. To permit a dying person to die, when there is no real expectation that life can sustain itself, and even to pray to the Authorof Life to take the life of one "struggling to die" is one thing; euthanasia is another, i.e., the active intervention to terminate the life of another. Orthodox Christian ethics rejects the alternative of the willful termination of dying patients, regarding it as a special case of murder if done without the knowledge and consent of the patient, and suicide if it is permitted by the patient (Antoniades, II, pp. 125-127). One of the most serious criticisms of euthanasia is the grave difficulty in drawing the line between "bearable suffering" and "unbearable suffering," especially from an Eastern Orthodox perspective, which has taken seriously the spiritual growth that may take place through suffering (Rom. 8:17-39).

Ethical decision making is never precise and absolute. The principles that govern it are in a measure fluid and subject to interpretation. But to elevate euthanasia to a right or an obligation would bring it into direct conflict with the fundamental ethical affirmation that as human beings we are custodians of life, which comes from a source other than ourselves. Furthermore, the immense possibilities, not only for error but also for decision making based on self-serving ends, which may disregard the fundamental principle of the sanctity of human life, argue against euthanasia. "

In XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2005, 12:21:47 AM »

greekischristian,

I just wanted to say you've made some fabulous points about the source of the authority of princes (whether we choose to call them that or not; whether they be selected by virtue of blood descent, choice of their predecessor, choice of a narrow electorate, or an electorate of an entirely enfranchised adult populace; whether their time of rule is understood to be for four years, or until death/abdication), points which are obscured by the childish revolutionary ideologies of the so called "enlightenment."

Unfortunately, getting Christians in the west to take such principles seriously is difficult, as they've been thoroughly brain washed by the populist nonsense of the revolution.  Genuine authority comes from above, not below.  Once again, bravo!

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« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2005, 12:35:48 AM »


Unfortunately, getting Christians in the west to take such principles seriously is difficult, as they've been thoroughly brain washed by the populist nonsense of the revolution. Genuine authority comes from above, not below.

Augustine, I had no idea you were the Perennial Rambler.  Man, it's a small world!

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« Reply #81 on: March 27, 2005, 08:47:02 PM »

Quote
I am also amazed at a "certian group" of people who are so passionate about pulling the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. Without naming names, I will say that it is always this "certian group" who falls down on the wrong side of the issues of life; it just amazes me.

Yup, they also own the copyright to "groupthink" when it comes to issues of LIFE. Some diversity would be nice among these people because after all aren't they PRO-CHOICE?? It's a shame that a women is starving to death but atleast her family had a fighting chance to save her. People can argue the "rule of law" all they want but in the end the net result is the system allowed an innocent life to waste away when she had loved ones that would have taken her in and cared for her. In cases like this I would think we should err on the side of life, especially with so many facts in dispute on both sides. I'm not going to disparage the husband because nobody knows his true intentions and I hope he has been honest with his wife's wishes. It's also interesting to see groups like the ACLU so passionately siding with the court's and the husband to see the feeding tube pulled. I would think between the crusades against threatening broke counties,cities, and school districts with lawsuits and defending islamic terrorist at GITMO who wouldn't blink an eye to kill your family that they wouldn't have the time to interject themselves to see to it that a poor women starves to death.   
« Last Edit: March 27, 2005, 08:49:35 PM by Nacho » Logged

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« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2005, 09:16:37 PM »


I'm not going to disparage the husband because nobody knows his true intentions and I hope he has been honest with his wife's wishes. It's also interesting to see groups like the ACLU so passionately siding with the court's and the husband to see the feeding tube pulled. I would think between the crusades against threatening broke counties,cities, and school districts with lawsuits and defending islamic terrorist at GITMO who wouldn't blink an eye to kill your family that they wouldn't have the time to interject themselves to see to it that a poor women starves to death.   
 

It's amazing isn't it... If Terri was an illegal alien, from another country, the ACLU would be blaiming the US for not intervening...
The only thing I have to say about the husband is that he is a bigamist/ adulterer... having a common law wife and children.. It's amazing that this didn't call into question  his credibility or motives- An honorable approach would have been to appoint a neutral guardian with all the claims of his wifes desires known to be protected, annulled his marriage and married his girlfriend properly... That he chose the course he took and it was also accepted in a court of law, is what concerns me...

In XC, Kizzy
 
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« Reply #83 on: March 28, 2005, 08:14:09 AM »

I used to work in a brain injuries unit at a psychiatric hospital. We had one patient there who was remarkably similar to Terry Schiavo, though her condition was caused by encephalitis.

I too have nursed a 39 year old woman called Julie who could not speak or swallow due to a head injury. She relied on a PEG tube for all her nutrition and hydration. When I saw the video of Terri Schiavo smiling in response to her mother's voice, I thought of how Julie would smile when her husband would visit. Terri Schiavo is less brain damaged than most of the brain injured people I have nursed, and people in a "Persistent Vegetative State" do not smile and make eye contact in response to their mother's voice as Terri does. If anyone had dared ask me to withold Julie's feeds, or to remove her tube, I'm sure I could not obey- my heart would not let me. According to the Nursing Theory I was taught, the role of the Nurse is to perform those human functions a patient would perform for themselves if they had the ability or knowledge to do so. If they can't feed themselves, you feed them, if they are incontinent, you clean their waste, if they can't bathe, you bathe them.
The case of Terri Schiavo is not about Law, it's not even about justice. It's about mercy.
In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, we read:
'Abba Anthony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, "You are mad, you are not like us." '
Isn't it madness to allow a young woman to die of starvation and dehydration when it is in our power to prevent it? In the words of Shakespeare, I would not even treat my worst enemy's dog like that- even if it had bitten me.
Christ prayed for His crucifiers saying "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." It is only those who have gone mad that "know not what they do". Those who are mad lack mercy, as we see with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, serial killers, and snipers like the murderers at Colombine and more recently at the high school in Minnesota.
What's more, those who go mad, don't even realise that they have gone mad. They accept the new "status quo" as if it always existed. When have people in the US ever been arrested in the past for carrying water to a disabled person? When in the history of the US has an act of humanitarian mercy been illegal?
The health of any society can be judged by the way it treats it's most vulnerable members.
As a former Nurse, and as an Orthodox Christian, I have to say, this is madness, immoral, inhuman, cruel and above all, merciless.
The Church doen't need to make any pronouncements, this is what the Head of the Orthodox Church has already said:
 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (Matthew 25:41-45)
George (Australia)
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« Reply #84 on: March 28, 2005, 04:16:06 PM »

OZgeorge... Every time I think of that bible passage I think.. there is Jesus Christ in Florida.... Testing us all...
Even the Romans gave Christ water as he suffered on the cross.  We have stooped to the lowest of the low...
What have we  come too?? Worse yet, I think of how this will be played out in terrorist regimes.. a culture that kills it's own disabled people.. what a mess!

There is  a legal website  http://www.theempirejournal.com/021705nmtsnew_medical_tests_soug.htm  that details all of the corruption involved in the Schiavo case which worked against even a fair hearing....
Read the Schiavogate link ...
 I didn't know that Felos was head of the Board at the hospice she was moved to... and this hospice is under attack for medicare fraud... in fact the Schiavo case is just one of the instances of medicare fraud... And one of the Florida judges had reviewed the case before becoming a judge... when the Schindlers were lawyer hunting... but they couldn't pay his fee... He should have recused himself from the case, since he was not without conflict of interest..

It is a tangled web for sure. 

I pray for Terri every day... a wish for a miracle that the Lord shows  his power by having her prove them all wrong and say to them: Get me some water you all!  Michael and all the judges should fall off their mighty thrones and humble themselves before the power of God...

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« Reply #85 on: March 28, 2005, 04:31:06 PM »

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"Michael and all the judges should fall off their mighty thrones and humble themselves before the power of God... "

They will, someday...
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« Reply #86 on: March 29, 2005, 02:35:24 AM »

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The case of Terri Schiavo is not about Law, it's not even about justice. It's about mercy.

Bingo.........I agree with you ozgeorge.. What's the point of following the law strictly if it's missing grace and mercy when dealing with life and death issues? Such law then becomes heartless and inhumane when interpreted without that context.

Quote
I didn't know that Felos was head of the Board at the hospice she was moved to... and this hospice is under attack for medicare fraud... in fact the Schiavo case is just one of the instances of medicare fraud... And one of the Florida judges had reviewed the case before becoming a judge... when the Schindlers were lawyer hunting... but they couldn't pay his fee... He should have recused himself from the case, since he was not without conflict of interest..

Kizzy, I have heard all kinds of crazy stuff about this case. This Felos guys does sound like a very shady character. He's a hard core right to die advocate and it's no coincidence the role he has played in this case to advance his agenda. He has a book out where he says some very whacky stuff like claiming to be able to telepathically communicate with people in similiar conditions to Terry Schiavo and promising them to "set them free" from this life. He also claimed he had powers to communicate with God and that God told him he is "more powerful than he thinks he is".  I have a feeling from what I have read that the courts have ruled without seeing some evidence that was favorable to the Schindler family that may have helped them. It's too bad some people and "groups" allowed and advocated for this to happen in order to advance an agenda or for the sake of scoring a point against the 'religious right' as if this was some kind of sick game. Oh well, God watches and waits and these ACLU types will stand before a pure court of justice one day. I was very surprised to see Ralph Nadar and Jesse Jackson come out and proclaim how inhumane this was. Good for those guys, this case definitely is seperating those that have hearts from the soulless goons.

   
   

 
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« Reply #87 on: March 29, 2005, 07:24:53 AM »

This Felos guys does sound like a very shady character.
The saddest thing is that Felos is a fallen son of the Orthodox Church who has publically stated that Christ was simply one of many incarnations of God, and who started practicing yoga in college. Seehttp://www.sptimes.com/News/052501/Floridian/The_spirit_and_the_la.shtml . In his own words:
Quote from: Felos
"I believe that Christ was God incarnate and was resurrected. But, by the same token, I believe that there were other incarnations of God as well," he says. "All the great religions in their essence express the same fundamental truths."
Here we see exactley why the Fathers warn us against heresy and against following the practices of other faiths. We begin by changing the Orthodox dogmas and practicing other religions and end by justifying torture and murder due to our 'enlightenment'. Felos has certainly been in communication with a some spirit through his yoga- but I don't think it's the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #88 on: March 29, 2005, 10:24:47 AM »

Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh (GOA) has spoken out on the issue.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05088/479133.stm
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« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2005, 11:01:54 AM »

Thanks, mjg.
Glad my own bishop has spoken out.
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