updated 12/23/2003 5:51:18 PM ET 2003-12-23T22:51:18

A judge said Tuesday he is ready to rule on the constitutionality of a state law that has been keeping a severely brain-damaged woman alive, and a lawyer for Gov. Jeb Bush predicted the law will be overturned.

Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird, at a routine hearing in the case of Terri Schiavo, said he has heard everything he needs and will rule once a court settles appeals filed by the governor’s office.

Even though Baird did not indicate which way he would rule, Bush attorney Ken Connor said he believes Baird intends to rule that the law, hastily passed in October specifically to keep Schiavo alive, is unconstitutional because it violates her right to privacy.

Schiavo, 40, has been in a persistent vegetative state more than 13 years.

Husband vs. parents
Her husband, Michael Schiavo, says she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents want to keep her alive and see if she will respond to therapy.

Florida courts repeatedly have said Michael Schiavo has the right to remove the feeding tube that has kept her alive. The tube was removed in October and she went without water and nutrition for six days until the Legislature and the governor stepped in to have the tube reinserted.

Appeals pending in the 2nd District Court in Lakeland center on whether a suit Michael Schiavo filed challenging the governor’s intervention was filed in the right venue and whether the governor’s attorneys should be allowed to question certain witnesses in the case.

No timetable has been set for a decision by the appellate court.

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