Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A question for the critics of the federal judge's (as upheld by the appeals court panel) decision to not order Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted. The judge ruled as he did because, in his view, the Schindlers had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at trial on the merits of their arguments... My question: isn't that a pretty good standard for determining when to order injunctive relief that changes the status quo?

If judges were obligated to maintain the status quo until after he had heard arguments - on whatever it is that is being argued - then those advocating for the status quo have the ability to forever prevent action from being taken. Take for example, the death penalty - without such a standard, opponents could continually delay executions by filing one request for injunctive relief after another.. it wouldn't matter how frivolous the arguments were, the judge would have to grant until after he had heard arguments and ruled... after which, of course, death penalty opponents would merely file another request for injunctive relief, which would trigger another round and another round and another round. Environmentalists could forever stall development by filing one objection after after another. Those objecting to Verizon's purchase of MCI could forever keep that from happening.. just by filing one claim after another. Heck, without such a standard, George Bush couldn't have been inaugurated until after the courts had heard and ruled on all the various lawsuits that had been filed... is this really what we're looking for?