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The Rhetoric of Disputes in the Courts, the Media, and the Legislature, 40 Ga. L. Rev. 559 (2006)


The Schiavo case is our immediate subject. The transaction there
involved a traumatic injury to Ms. Schiavo, her husband's
immediate and subsequent responses to her condition, her prolonged
period of apparent mental dormancy, the original and repeated
judicial proceedings addressing whether to continue sustaining her
in life, and the prolonged and intense disputes over the proper
answers to those questions. One ofthe eventual responses was the
extraordinary enactment by Congress of legislation granting the
federal courts jurisdiction to address the case. A further response
was that of the federal courts in declining to address the merits of
the underlying controversy, in deference to the decisions made by
the Florida state courts. A still further response was denunciation
by congressional critics of the proceedings, complaining in essence
that the federal courts had not been activist enough.

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