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Imagine that John and Jane are arrest for kissing out of wedlock and challenge the validity of their arrest in court. Trial Judge Idee Ohlog rejects their claim in a brief opinion stating, in pertinent part, "John and John cannot prevail lest we forget that '[u]nto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure...' Titus ch. I, v. 15."  John and Jane appeals.  The Circuit Court summarily rejects their appeal, writing "If the Supreme Court is barred from reviewing this claim, so too are we."  

However silly my hypothetical and exceptional our trial judge, the Circuit Court's decision would be correct if the scripture trumped our Constitution as the supreme law of the land. At this point, you're probably thinking, "Great - another conspiracy theorist." What would you say, however, if I showed you corresponding bills in the House and Senate purporting to do just that...

Under the Constitution Restoration Act, H.R. 3799 and S. 520

[T]he Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

So why should we care about one extreme Representative and Senator? Because the Representative's bill has 37 co-sponsors; the Senator has 2. In other words, the Constitution Restoration Act has 2 more co-sponsors than Rep. Sensenbrenner's Immigration Bill, which was passed in the House and is presently under consideration in the Senate. It's Senate Counterpart (introduced by Majority Leader Frist) has 0 co-sponsors.

While you will not find a single reference to the bill in the Washington Post (my newspaper of choice), I am by no means the first one to write about it.  See, for example, Galiel's Post on DailyKos in September of 2004; Max Blumenthal's September 2005 Article in the Nation; Katherine Yurica's discussion of the Act in the Yurica Report; The People for the American Way's Article on SavetheCourt.org.  

At a time when it is not unheard of for a bill to become law after Congress has retired for the night, one has to wonder: where are the reasonable minds in Washington and the national media?

Originally posted to Republicus on Wed May 10, 2006 at 01:51 AM PDT.

Poll

Is the Constitution Restoration Act a subject worthy of media coverage?

93%29 votes
6%2 votes
0%0 votes

| 31 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  excellent diary (5+ / 0-)

    and YES, the Constitution Restoration Act is definitely a subject worthy of media coverage.  please forgive my skepticism but I don't believe it will get much (if any) coverage.  so I must congratulate you for being our media on this important topic.

    Religious Right Legislative Agenda

    One way to understand the Religious Right is to look at the kinds of legislation their lawmakers sponsor. In the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures, bills are proposed that are anti-women, anti-labor, and anti-civil rights. Their legislation opposes finance campaign reform; environmental protection; gun control; social justice for the poor; public education; teaching evolution; human sexuality; and a separation of church and state.

    Their bills show a disregard for the U.S. Constitution, and finally, Democracy itself. Bills coming from the Religious Right favor the wealthy and large corporations. The ultimate political goal is to make this country a Christian nation.

    All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small. --Lao-Tzu

    by Avila on Wed May 10, 2006 at 02:12:36 AM PDT

  •  The 'Const.Restoration Act' is itself (5+ / 0-)

    blatantly unconstitutional. Congress can regulate the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on ordinary litigatio,lets say in diversity cases where a person from one state sues a person from another state for a routine auto accident in Federal Court but they cannot limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or of any Federal Court in cases where a violation of the Federal Constitution is alleged. Otherwise,Marbury v.Madison would be a nullity and there is no way in hell that the Supreme Court would ever give up final say on the Constitution including Scalia etc.When it comes to a conflict with Congress,both liberal and conservative Justices would be on the same side.

  •  Specter wouldn't permit this... (0+ / 0-)

    Honestly, I still believe that Senator Specter, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a reasonable man who wouldn't let this proceed.

  •  Chief Justice Roberts on the Constitutional Issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila

    Chief Justice Roberts more or less answered the constitutional question (well-before and during the confirmation process).

    In July 2005, Tony Loci and Kevin Johnson of USA Today reported:

    The issue of so-called court-stripping legislation crossed Roberts' desk while he worked at the Justice Department in 1982, when Smith asked his young assistant to argue both sides of the case. The issue to be addressed was the constitutionality of a bill to strip the Supreme Court of its ability to rule on cases challenging voluntary school prayer legislation then pending in Congress.

    Roberts did as directed, concluding in one option that "Congress does not have the power to divest the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction," and in the other that it "has the constitutional authority."

    Three years later, with similar legislation pending in Congress, Roberts returned to the issue while working in the White House counsel's office.

    In a memo to White House counsel Fred Fielding, Roberts wrote that while at the Justice Department, he had concluded such bills were constitutional. "I also concluded that such bills were bad policy and should be opposed on policy grounds.

    "My views did not carry the day, however," he added.

    With a new attorney general, Ed Meese, in office and new legislation in Congress, Roberts said he didn't know whether the department wanted to review its opinion.

    He advised against it.

    "I think I would recommend that we adhere to the old misguided opinion and let sleeping dogs (an apt reference, given my view of the opinion) lie."

    Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet.

    by Republicus on Wed May 10, 2006 at 05:05:45 AM PDT

  •  But which God? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, Wbythebay

    Vishnu?

    Ganeesh?

    Zeus?

    I'd like to hope they meant ... Athena or Suraswati, goddesses of wisdom

    but more likely, Kali or Hades

    "I divide men into two lots. They are freethinkers, or they are not-freethinkers. I am not speaking of ... the agnostic English Freethinkers, but I am using the word in its simplest meaning. Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice & without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking: where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless. A man may be a Catholic, a Frenchman. or a capitalist, & yet be a free-thinker; but if he put his Catholicism, his patriotism, or his interest, above his reason, & he will not give the latter free play where those subjects are touched, he is not a freethinker. His mind is in bondage." - Leo Tolstoy

    Reason w/o fear! "Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs." -Sir Isaiah Berlin

    by Monique Radevu on Wed May 10, 2006 at 05:12:27 AM PDT

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