Judge Overturns Law Keeping Florida Woman Alive

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - A judge in Tampa, Fla., Thursday ruled unconstitutional the law by Gov. Jeb Bush that kept a brain-damaged woman alive.

The governor's office filed an immediate appeal of Pinellas Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird's ruling in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case.

Schiavo's husband Michael had been fighting to remove her feeding tube saying he was carrying out his wife's wishes, but her family believes her condition could improve with therapy.

"We are extremely disappointed with the decision of the court," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the Terri's parents, the Schindlers, in the state case.

"The legislature and Governor acted appropriately and constitutionally in passing and implementing 'Terri's Law.' The decision declaring the law unconstitutional is disappointing but not surprising," said Sekulow.

"It was the same court that repeatedly denied Terri's parents permission to intervene directly into this case to defend the constitutionality of the law on behalf of their daughter. We applaud the Governor for taking quick action to keep 'Terri's Law' in place through the appeals process," he said.

"We strongly support the Governor's position in this case and are now examining all legal avenues to ensure that the interests and concerns of Terri's parents are represented in this appeals process," Sekulow added.

The ACLJ filed its latest appeal on a motion to intervene on behalf of the Schindlers with the Second District Court of Appeal on April 29th after Judge Baird denied for a second time a motion to intervene. Judge Baird denied the ACLJ's first motion in November 2003.

To view CNSNews.com's long-term coverage of the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, click here.

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