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Over Easy: Texas Republicans cannot reanimate the dead

A patient in a hospital bed connected to equipment.

Why are Texas Republicans so ghoulish?

Cross posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

Good morning:

I will be subbing for Crane Station today because she is busy working on her case.

Four Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination to run for the position of Lieutenant Governor of Texas in the fall election participated in the first televised debate of the primary season on Monday evening.

Under normal circumstances, I would not comment on the debate.

I have decided to comment, however, because the four candidates disagreed with the judge who ordered the hospital to disconnect Marlise Munoz from a ventilator. They also vowed to change the law so that this mistake will not happen again.

I believe their position is indefensible legally and ethically and I believe it demonstrates why these men are not qualified for the position they seek.

The primary is March 4th.

First, Marlise Munoz very likely was brain dead (i.e., clinically dead) before she was transported to the hospital. If not, she soon reached that condition. Her condition was irreversible.

Second, but for the Texas statute, the hospital was ethically required to unplug her from life support.

Third, it was undisputed that the fetus was not viable and but for the Texas statute, the hospital had no choice but to let it go.

Fourth, the statute cannot be rewritten to bring the dead back to life.

Therefore, the court made the correct decision and the Texas legislature cannot amend the existing statute to require the hospital to bring the dead back to life.

The four candidates have no excuse for not being aware of this impossibility.

Characterizing the court’s decision as wrong and promising to rewrite the statute to, in essence, reanimate the dead can only work in zombie films.

President Obama did a pretty good job of zombie politics in his State of the Union address last night.


Photo by José Goulão released under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.