Shiavo Judge Clinton Appointee
Armed with a new law rushed through Congress, the attorney for Terri Schiavo’s parents pleaded with a judge Monday to order the brain-damaged woman’s feeding tube re-inserted. But the judge appeared cool to the argument.
U.S. District Judge James Whittemore did not immediately make a ruling after the two-hour hearing, and he gave no indication on when he might act on the request.
The hearing came three days after the feeding tube was removed. Doctors have said Schiavo, 41, could survive one to two weeks without the tube.
After the parents’ attorneys arrived at the Tampa courthouse in middle of the night to file their lawsuit, Whittemore was chosen at random to hear the case, and court clerks called him to wake him. With that, the judge set about reading the filings.
Longtime colleagues describe Whittemore, 52, as thoughtful, fair and down-to-earth, not the least flamboyant.
Whittemore, appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton in 1999, is not known to display any political leanings.