A federal judge in Tampa, Fla., began hearing the Terri Schiavo case this afternoon, hours after the Republican-controlled Congress and President Bush interceded on behalf of the comatose woman. U.S. District Judge James Whittemore was considering a request from Schiavo's parents to replace a feeding tube removed from the brain-damaged woman last Friday. Earlier today, Congress rushed through legislation that sent the highly charged right-to-die case to federal court. Bush flew from Texas to Washington to sign the measure, saying in a statement, "In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life." Florida state courts have ruled that the 41-year-old Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state after suffering a heart attack in 1990 that temporarily cut off oxygen to her brain. -- by Michael Romano
Schiavo case enters federal court after Bush signs law
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