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SCHOLARS APPLAUD SCHIAVO DECISION WASHINGTON — In a widely expected move, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request from the parents of Terri Schiavo to reinsert the feeding tube that a Florida state court judge had ordered removed from the 41-year-old woman six days earlier. The one-page order, made without comment by the high court, followed a flurry of decisions this week by a Florida federal judge, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the appeals court’s full 12-judge bench, each refusing to reopen the Schiavo case. The Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene — the fifth time the justices have declined to act on the case — was greeted with approval by legal scholars on both sides of the political divide. “Inevitable,” Herman Schwartz, a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law said of the high court’s refusal to hear the case. “There’s really no colorable issue here. In fact, the parents’ case for this is so weak that if it weren’t for all the publicity about this, there would be questions of Rule 11,” said Schwartz, referring to the federal court rule that sanctions attorneys for filing frivolous claims. “They can’t argue that her life was taken away from her without due process after 12 years of litigation.” Pepperdine University School of Law professor Douglas Kmiec, who said that he is sympathetic with the plight of Schiavo’s parents, nonetheless applauded the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case and the three federal court decisions that preceded Thursday’s action. “It is with great credit that every level of the federal courts recognized that law rather than emotion and politics has to prevail,” said Kmiec. “Part of our founding tradition is to treat life as an inalienable right. But we are also a nation of law, and there is a right way and wrong way to advance the protection of our fundamental rights.” — Legal Times

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