CLEARWATER, Fla. -- An appeals court refused to remove the judge in the life-or-death case of a severely brain-damaged woman yesterday, rejecting Governor Jeb Bush's claim that the judge is biased.
Terri Schiavo's husband is challenging the constitutionality of a law that allowed Bush to order her feeding tube reinserted after the husband had it removed.
Bush's attorney, Kenneth L. Connor, argued that Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird already made up his mind, citing the judge's statements that the new law is "presumptively unconstitutional."
But the appellate court said Baird's comments were not improper.
Bush criticized the decision, saying in a statement that "it appears the court has determined that prejudging a case before evidence is presented is acceptable in Florida."
Michael Schiavo says his wife would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents want to keep her alive and see if she will respond to therapy.
After years of court rulings that ultimately favored Michael Schiavo, the feeding tube was removed in October, but lawmakers passed a law six days later that allowed Bush to order the tube restored.
Baird is set to hear arguments next week.