Santorum’s Attack on Law and Order

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) lashed out at United States District Judge James Whittemore for the decision he issued this morning:

You have judicial tyranny here…. Judges should obey the law. And this judge – in my mind – simply ignored the law.

Let’s examine what actually happened. The plaintiffs, Terri Schiavo’s parents, were asking for a temporary restraining order. No matter how frenzied Santorum gets, there is a legal standard that determines whether to grant a request for a temporary injunction that Judge Whittemore is required to follow.

Specifically, Judge Whittemore cannot grant a preliminary injunction until the plaintiffs show they have a “substantial likelihood of success of the merits” on at least one of their claims.

Among the plaintiffs’ claims:

1. Theresa Schiavo’s right to a fair and impartial trial was violated because the state judge “became an advocate for Terri’s death.”

2. Theresa Schiavo’s right to due process was violated because the judge failed “to ever meet Terri personally.”

3. The state court’s order violated “Theresa Schiavo’s right to exercise her religion.”

Judge Whittemore carefully considered all of these claims and came to the judgment that the plaintiffs failed to prove there was a “substantial likelihood of success” on any of them. Law and order is still law and order, even if you don’t like the result.