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ISSUE 118 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/15/2005

Schiavo article is cheap shot at supporters

By Melanie Meinzer
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 15, 2005

In recent weeks the Terri Schiavo case has sparked much public interest and debate. Given the recent media coverage of the case, we were not surprised to see mention of it in the Manitou Messenger.

However, upon reading Andrea Horbinski’s Opinions piece, we were both shocked and appalled at the blatant misrepresentation of the facts. While Ms. Horbinski could have written a very compelling article in regard to her opinions on the Schiavo case, she instead presented an argument weakened by its basis on personal attacks and false information.

To begin with, the last time we checked, Laura Bush is not a government official. As such, she has just as much right to her personal opinion as Ms. Horbinski.

Despite having more publicity than the typical citizen, Mrs. Bush is in no way in a position to cause the legislative and executive branches to be carried away by their “own ideological fervor” if, in fact, this is what occurred.

Ms. Horbinski could have instead quoted statements made by President Bush, an elected official, to support her argument.

Secondly, despite Ms. Horbinski’s claims that she has read the Constitution, her article shows otherwise. Having read the Constitution ourselves, we know that state courts have no jurisdiction to strike down federal legislation, as Ms. Horbinski claims they did.

Also, claims that the courts and President Bush “willfully violated” Mrs. Schiavo’s fifth amendment rights to due process are ridiculous.

How is questioning whether or not Terri Schiavo received due process violating her rights?

Again, according to the Constitution, this is the fundamental purpose of the judicial system: to uphold the rights, liberties and freedoms of every American citizen – even those in a coma.

Furthermore, her citation of Tom Delay’s situation with his father (in the absence of citing any precedence such as the Cruzan case) seems irrelevant, as the two cases have marked differences. It is too bad Ms. Horbinski had to resort to personal attacks to support her claims.

We hope that in the future, Ms. Horbinski will more accurately represent the Constitution in her arguments, for her article could have been a catalyst for important discussion on this campus.

Jessica McGlauflin ‘05 and Jeannie Dybdal ‘05

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