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No Change in Presumption

By Judd Legum  

"No Change in Presumption"

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The refrain from President Bush today is that he intervened in the Terri Schiavo case because “our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life.”

But the bill the president signed did nothing to change the presumptions in the law. Nothing in the bill changes the legal standards that the judge will use for Terri Schiavo. Article 5 of the bill explicitly states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create substantive rights not otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the several States.” All it does is extend the duration of the litigation by having a federal court apply the exact same standards as the Florida courts have applied.

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