Late last night (early this morning), Justice James Whittemore denied the Schindlers’ temporary emergency motion to reinsert the feeding tube (his well-reasoned opinion, in PDF format, is here.
From the Miami Herald (subscription required):
Pity James D. Whittemore, next in line for unholy defamation via e-mail, eternal damnation through the Internet and vilification by postcard. Not to mention death threats from those who claim insight into God’s own hit list.
The judge [Greer] has two deputies in tow wherever he goes in public, assigned to keep God’s self-appointed messengers from killing him.
Judge Greer will now cede such fringe benefits to Judge Whittemore, who had the case dumped on his head Monday when Congress decided to federalize the issue. Judge Whittemore, when medical reasoning and legal decisions inevitably clash with religious theology, will also get the crazies as a bonus.
The federal judge will preside over a family tragedy that has been usurped by meanness and confrontation and a showing of the power — the considerable power — of the religious right.
But the outlandish seems to have become incredibly effective when spread through the Internet. Republicans have rallied and Democrats have ducked. And the Schiavo bill flew through Congress as if the cyber campaign were the stuff of a national consensus.
But when the crazies crank up the volume, the voices of a sober majority get lost in the tumult.