Sunday, April 03, 2005

Theocracy on the March

The Theocons in congress have introduced a bill that would turn the separation of church and state on its head. The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 was introduced in the House (as H.R. 1070) and Senate (as S.520) one month ago. The summary reads as follows:
Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.
Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.
Analyzing this one will take some work, but according to my quick reading, any government official anywhere could declare that his or her understanding of God's law supercedes local, state or federal law and the federal courts would be prohibited from doing anything about it. A judge who decided otherwise could be hauled before congress for impeachment.
Likewise, a federal judge who refers to international law in a decision (like the majority Supreme Court decision prohibiting the death penalty for minors, written by Sandra Day O'Conner) could face impeachment.
My inexpert opinion is that this wouldn't pass muster with the Supreme Court. Even so, this is one of the most audacious attempts to limit the historic authority of the federal judiciary we've seen in quite some time.
Thanks to Sandrover at Daily Kos for bringing this to light.


Blogger erinberry said...

Wow. That is frightening.

3:34 PM, April 04, 2005  

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