President, Congress Intervene in Schiavo Case

3-21-05 - PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) Both sides in the Terri Schiavo case are awaiting a ruling from a federal judge.

The lawyer representing Schiavo's parents is seeking an emergency injunction to have the brain-damaged woman's feeding tube reinserted.

Early today, House lawmakers in Washington followed the Senate's lead and passed emergency legislation. It allows Schiavo's parents to ask a federal judge to prolong the woman's life. President Bush signed the measure less than an hour after the House vote.

Schiavo's husband says he is outraged by the congressional intervention. His lawyer calls the emergency bill "an absolute attack on the notion that we have separation of powers between the co-equal branches of government."

President Bush says courts should "have a presumption in favor of life" in cases like Terri Schiavo's.

Bush issued a statement after signing legislation allowing a federal review of the case. Bush signed the measure after the House passed it on a 203-to-58 vote. The Senate earlier approved the bill by a voice vote.

The president's brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is praising Congress' action, saying government has "a duty to protect the weak, disabled and vulnerable."

Many Democrats who opposed the bill say the congressional vote placed lawmakers in the middle of issues best left to state courts and family members.