Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Pen is Mightier

At this point, the GOP can't decide whether it wants to "explain" or repudiate violent actions against judges. While it makes up its mind, however, a group of GOP senators have decided to do with the pen what might be somewhat unseemly (read: treasonous) if done with the sword.

Richard Shelby (R-AL, and someone who should know better), has introduced the Constitutional Restoration Act of 2005, which, among other things, prohibits courts from enforcing the constitution (tip: The Moderate Voice). Nothing like Orwellian bill titles. The summary of the bill is as follows:
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Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.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.

So basically, the second paragraph forces judges only to look to US law, and the first section requires them to ignore the First Amendment of said US law. How I wish they'd make up their mind.

Co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. Brownback (R-KS), Burr (R-NC), Lott (R-MS), Burns (R-MT), and Craig (R-ID). Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) has introduced identical legislation in the House, with 24 co-sponsors. Meanwhile, Kos reports that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is distancing himself from the loony claims of DeLay, Cornyn, et al, saying that "I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today." It remains to be seen whether that was spoken in praise or as a lament, but Frist's reaction to the Shelby's obscene bill will speak volumes.

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