We'd have more sympathy for this argument if the same liberals who are complaining about the possibility of the federal courts reviewing Mrs. Schiavo's case felt as strongly about restraining the federal judiciary when it comes to abortion, homosexuality, and other social issues they don't want to trust to local communities. In any event, these critics betray their lack of understanding of the meaning of federalism. It is not simply about "states' rights." Conservatives support states' rights in areas that are not delegated to the federal government but they also support federal power in areas that are delegated.
Think of an analogy to the writ of habeas corpus. As John Eastman of the Claremont Institute points out, "We have federal court review of state court judgments all the time in the criminal law context." The bill before Congress essentially treats the Florida judgment as a death sentence, warranting federal habeas review. Mrs. Schiavo is not on life support. The court order to remove the feeding tube is an order to starve her to death. Moreover, Mrs. Schiavo is arguably being deprived of her life without due process of law, a violation of the 14th Amendment that Congress has the power to address.
I am torn about this case, since as the lovely and talented Mr. Cadenhead points out it's more than likely Terri would neither know the difference nor profit from either course of action. It's all tragedy to me, I guess. And although I get a bad feeling about the husband, that's exactly the kind of reason that shouldn't sway me either way. But I agree that an inconsistent view of federalism is not helping anyone. So I'm punting, and good luck and God bless all around.