Gov. Bush asks to void Schiavo suit

November 06, 2003|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

MIAMI - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush asked a judge yesterday to dismiss a suit seeking to stop him from intervening in the case of a brain-damaged woman whose husband wants her feeding tube removed.

The request came two weeks after the Legislature passed a bill empowering the governor to order a feeding tube reinserted in the woman, Terri Schiavo.

Several courts had granted Schiavo's husband, Michael, permission to remove the tube. She suffered extensive brain damage when her heart stopped beating temporarily in 1990. But Terri Schiavo's parents have fought the removal, and Bush joined their battle after doctors stopped feeding her Oct. 15.

Schiavo, 39, was put back on the feeding tube soon after Bush signed the law Oct. 21, but her husband immediately sued on grounds that the law was unconstitutional. In a brief filed last week in the state's 6th Circuit Court, his lawyers argued that the law violated the separation of the judicial and executive branches of state government.

The court had set a deadline of today for Bush's lawyers to file a response, but yesterday, one of the lawyers said he had filed a motion to dismiss the suit because Schiavo had not followed the correct process for serving Bush with legal papers.

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