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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on the Mark Larson Show
March 18, 2005
News Radio 600 KOGO, San Diego

MARK LARSON, HOST: The other big story of the day, today, is the Terri Schiavo case, and again, common denominators with judicial tyranny, here. In this case, Judge Greer in Florida thumbing his nose--and then some--at the United States Congress. Alan Keyes joins us on our newsmaker line. Ambassador Keyes, great to have you back here. Welcome to KOGO.

ALAN KEYES: Always a pleasure. Thank you.

LARSON: And this has been, for the story to break right at the beginning of my show today, that the feeding tube had been pulled--it just hit me in the gut. And I know you've been fighting on this, as evidenced up on Terri's website, terrisfight.org. This is a sad day for America, if it's just left to remain as is right now, without a good fight here.

KEYES: It surely is. And I think it is an ideal example of how we're allowing the judiciary to continue an assault on the moral sense and sensibility of our people--doing so in contravention of the will of the people as expressed in Florida in the state legislature, by the governor, now by the Congress of the United States.

We really are in a situation where the judges are establishing themselves as little dictators, and where, for some reason, we have forgotten that we have a separation of powers, that their orders are not self-effectuating, and that the other two branches have both a responsibility and an obligation to see the Constitution is rightly respected.

And we can't leave that simply in the hands of dictatorial judges.

In this case, I think Jeb Bush has the perfect right and obligation to act to prevent this violation of Terri Schiavo's basic constitutional rights, and to do so in such a way as to prevent what amounts to judicially-mandated murder. And I hope that he will understand that responsibility and act, while the Congress and the legislature continue to take the steps that they can, to try to make sure that this does not continue.

But I think it is an ideal example of how, essentially, because of this little judicial tyranny, we are seeing things happen that are totally against the conscience and moral sensibility of our people, and yet, will have the effect of corrupting our conscience and our moral sensibility, if they are allowed to stand.

LARSON: Alan Keyes, with us here, live, on our newsline on KOGO. Let's go to Chad, in Ramona. You're on KOGO, with Alan Keyes. Hi.

CALLER: Hey. Got a question for both of you.

LARSON: All right.

CALLER: Is there a case against the state, or the government, for not protecting a citizen's right to life, under the Constitution?

KEYES: I am not sure. I think that, obviously, there is a statute that talks about the violation of civil rights, that was used in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, where criminal charges can actually be brought for violating somebody's civil rights.

But I think what we've got in this case is something that can't easily be decided in that manner, because it's actually a constitutional dispute, in which the Florida legislature and the governor have said that the Constitution requires that this woman's life be preserved.

The judge--backed up, now, by the judiciary of Florida, apparently--is saying that she must not just be allowed to die, but she must be done to death, because he has not only said that the feeding tube will be removed, he has forbidden any feeding by natural means. It has been established that she has had a swallow mechanism. She could, perhaps, be fed with liquid nourishment, but he won't let the parents get close. He, basically, is insisting that she must die, and that--I don't know whether he's driven by ideology or other considerations, but we now have a situation where, apparently, her rights don't matter. The right and wrong of it doesn't matter, and he is just insisting that she will die.

LARSON. I appreciate the call, Chad. Thanks. Alan Keyes with us here on KOGO. Let's go to Richard. Richard, waiting patiently. Welcome to KOGO. Hi.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Mark. Good afternoon, Ambassador Keyes.

KEYES: Hi.

CALLER: I was wondering if you could help explain a couple of lesser legal stretches the judge had to make, in order to get to the point where he is now.

And the first one has to do with the fact that this man, Michael Schiavo, has been cohabiting with another woman who has had two children with him, and I think by most of the state's standards, is he not legally married to this woman, as per "common law" law, or not?

KEYES: He couldn't be, because that would make him a bigamist. He hasn't divorced his first wife. But it does raise a question about whether or not we are really dealing, here, with a husband who still retains both the status and the real interest of a husband.

I think this is something that's been raised since the very beginning, though. This is a man who went into court for malpractice purposes--right?--when money was at stake that he could get, and he said that he was a devoted husband who would take care of Terri Schiavo for the rest of his life.

And I put the emphasis on "his." He didn't say, "the rest of her life." He said, the rest of his life. And they then made the case that she could live in her condition--which was the same as the condition she's in right now--for fifty years. And that's why they needed an award that would be commensurate with what was needed to, sort of, help take care of her during that time.

So, when money was at stake, he was a devoted husband. He was looking at fifty years of caring for his wife.

Within months after that decision was made, he decides to pull the feeding tube, because this had become an inconvenience, and now, he has actually pursued another family, raising the question of whether or not there isn't an inherent conflict of interest between his interest in life now, and the life of Terri Schiavo.

LARSON: Absolutely. I appreciate the call on that, Richard. Let's take one more call on here, for Ambassador Alan Keyes. Jim, you're on KOGO. Hi.

CALLER: Hello there. Hey, Mark, my question goes to both of you, and that is: why cannot a lawsuit be brought against the judge for, a) homicide, or b) what that charge is that Simpson was charged with--death of a family member, and so forth and so on?

LARSON: Or, at least, contempt of Congress, in this case, because he's basically saying, "So what? The feds are involved, but I'm not going to pay any attention to that."

KEYES: Well, see, we are in a quandary here, though, because we said, "Why can't a case be brought?" But where would the case be brought? The case would be brought in the courts. And the court has, in Florida, on various appeals--they've backed this guy up.

We're in a situation, now, where the judiciary as such has set its face against what the society, the people, the legislature, and the Governor believe is constitutional right.

The question is, "Do the judges get to dictate, in an instance like this, what shall be our understanding of basic rights and moral requirements?"

The answer to that question, by the way, is "no." No branch of government gets to dictate what the outcome will be, by itself, in America.

And in this particular case, with the other branches ranged against them, the judges actually have no power or authority, and it's the executive who can act, and I think Jeb Bush ought to. He needs to simply intervene, protect this woman's life, look the court in the eye and say, as [Andrew] Jackson did, "You've made your ruling. You enforce it." They can't enforce it, of course, because they have no executive power to do so.

And when they act in a way that contravenes the conscience of the executive, they forfeit his cooperation. And it's about time that the executive reasserted that truth of our constitutional system. The courts do not get to act like little tyrants, in this country.

LARSON: That's right. And we're telling--that's the message loud and clear on this issue here with Terri Schiavo. It's the message here in Mt. Soledad today.

Alan Keyes, always good to talk to you here on these issues. Thanks so much for your work. Terrisfight.org is the website, to get the latest information on the Terri Schiavo case. It's also linked on my website, marklarson.com. We'll talk to you again soon. Thank you, Ambassador.

KEYES: Thank you. Bye-bye.
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