You knew it had to happen, didn’t you? You knew that Alan Keyes, the undisputed champion of self-righteous moralizing, couldn’t keep his mouth shut about Terri Schiavo. You also knew that when he did see fit to fire up that heavily emotionalizing cannon that constitutes his brain, the output would be published in the Worldnutdaily. Anywhere else would be a travesty of justice worse than…well, worse than the “murder” of Terri Schiavo by the “liberal culture of death”. When last we saw ol’ Alan, he was licking his wounds after prostituting himself in Illinois for a desperate shot at the big time, which resulted in a world class ass-kicking of, appropriately, biblical proportions. But I, for one, missed that curious mixture of passion and pseudo-principle that only he can deliver. And deliver he does, in all his irrational glory. He’s calling for Jeb Bush to intervene to save Terri’s life, and his argument for why he has the power is astonishingly stupid:
The Florida state constitution declares unequivocally that in the state of Florida “the supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor … .” The word supreme means highest in authority. There can be no executive authority in the state of Florida higher than the governor. No state law can create an executive authority higher than highest in the Florida constitution. Therefore no court order based upon such a law can constitutionally create such an authority.
If the governor tells the local police in Pinellas County to step aside, they must do so, or else be arrested and tried for an assault on the government of the state, which is to say insurrection.(If Gov. Jeb Bush fears that for some reason they would question the authority of his representatives, then he should take the necessary law enforcement officials to Tampa in person, thus making the situation crystal clear.)
Since Florida’s highest law grants him supreme executive power, the governor’s action would be lawful. No one in the Florida judiciary can say otherwise, since the whole basis for the doctrine of judicial review (which they invoked when they refused to apply “Terri’s law”) is that any law at variance with the constitution is no law at all.
Even for Alan Keyes, this kind of sophistry is breathtaking. Surely he doesn’t really believe that “executive authority” means that the governor can do whatever he wants, regardless of the law. Executive authority means precisely that, the authority to execute the laws of the state of Florida, not to decide on his own that the courts are wrong in trying the law and therefore he can declare their rulings invalid of his own authority. The law in Florida says that a patient has the right to refuse treatment, and it further says that such refusal can be verbal and does not have to be in writing. The Florida courts heard testimony and determined that there was credible evidence that Terri herself would not want to live in the situation she is in, and therefore they ordered that those wishes be carried out. Having “executive authority” does not mean that the Governor can decide of his own accord that the court was wrong in its judgement. Indeed, to do so is to nullify the very purpose for which we have courts in the first place.
It’s a monumentally idiotic argument. But God bless him, I’m glad to have Alan back to make such arguments. No one else peddles stupidity and hypocrisy with such glorious panache.