Monday, March 21

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES D. WHITTEMORE THE KEY NOW

Fox Cable News reports that The Honorable James D. Whittemore will handle the federal court review of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case. Fox News indicates that a hearing has been scheduled for this afternoon at 3:00pm EST. Judge Whittemore was appointed to the federal bench in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. The concern is that this judge has not ordered the reinsertion of Terri's feeding tube pending his review and the scheduled hearing, which is not a good sign.

UPDATE: More on this judge from "The Miami Herald". Here are selected excerpts:

U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore, whom Clinton appointed in 1999, received the lawsuit filed by Terri Schiavo's parents via email about 4:30 a.m. -- about a half-hour after he was assigned the case via random computer selection.

By 2:30 a.m. David Gibbs, an attorney for the Schindlers, was standing on the chilly, windswept front porch of the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, with a lawsuit in hand.

It took another 30 minutes for court personnel to get to the building and open the clerk's office to file the suit.

In essence, the lawsuit seeks an injunction ordering that Schiavo's feeding tube be put back in, and barring anyone from removing it without federal court orders.

The law allows a ''from the beginning review,'' Gibbs said, of everything that has led up to the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

Waiting for a decision is the hard part, he said. ''It could be ten minutes, or it could be 10 hours,'' Gibbs said.