Andrew Cohen, JD, Legal Analyst for CBS News, argued in his Mar. 25, 2005 Los Angeles Times commentary "Why Schiavo's Parents Didn't Have a Case":

“The Schindlers [Terri Schiavo’s parents] lost their case and their cause [to reinsert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube]… because in the end they were making claims the legal system has never been able or willing to recognize. They lost because they long ago ran out of good arguments to make–those arguments having been reasonably rejected by state judge after judge–and thus were left with only lame ones…

Schiavo’s parents lost appeal after appeal specifically because they were asking the federal courts to declare that their constitutional rights had been violated by the Florida state court rulings in the case. They were arguing, in other words, thanks in part to their custom-made congressional legislation, that the federal Constitution gave them the right as losers in state court to get a new, full-blown trial in federal court.

If you ponder that notion you will realize just how astounding it is. If accepted, it would have meant the end of state courts as we know them. No decision at the state level ever would be final, because every losing litigant at the state court level would be able to walk into federal court and declare a federal constitutional violation…

And it is no wonder that the conservative U.S. Supreme Court decided for a fourth time to stay out of the case. This harsh reality won’t make it any easier for the Schindlers, but government cannot run on passion or emotion or sympathy. As the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote: ‘There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo… In the end, and no matter how much we wish Mrs. Schiavo had never suffered such a horrible accident, we are a nation of laws.'”

Mar. 25, 2005