Claims -- including RLUIPA -- in Schiavo complaint.
althouse at wisc.edu
Mon Mar 21 10:54:58 PST 2005
I've read the complaint in the federal court case in Schiavo. The
defendants are the husband, the state court judge, and the hospice.
The claims against the judge are the "due process right to a fair and
impartial trial" (the judge became an advocate for her death, per the
complaint) and a "deprivation of due process" based on the failure to
appoint a guardian ad litem, the judge's failure ever to assess Schiavo
in person or to order various tests. The judge is also charged with
violating her free exercise of religion: forcing her to "engage in
conduct proscribed by her Catholic faith specifically targets religion
for special disabilities without a compelling reason for so doing."
There is also an equal protection claim made against the judge.
The claim against the hospice is based on RLUIPA, with the hospice
defined by that federal statute as operating under color of federal
law. Schiavo is identified as a Catholic and the removal of the feeding
tube is characterized as a "substantial burden" on her free exercise of
What was the claim against the husband? I don't know.
The claims do not seem very strong to me.
The complaint is available here:
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