Constitution Under Attack

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

March 3, 2005 has brought forth yet another attack by the religous right on America and the Constitution, senators Richard Shelby (R) Alabama, Sam Brownback (R) Kansas and Richard Burr (R) North Carolina have introduced the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005. How does the constitution need to be "restored" you may ask, well the purpose of the bill is "to limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism." It seems in the wake of the Terry Schiavo circus republicans are not happy with the way some judges are ruling, and bill S.520 is meant to limit the jurisdiction of the courts as well as making it easier for a judge to be impeached. Section 1260 of bill S.520 reads as follows: Matters not reviewable-
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the 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 entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government. This section of the bill would bar federal courts from reviewing any issue invloving government or its employees by acknowledgement of god as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government. This acknowledging of god goes directly against the First Amendment of the Constitution which begins with: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Section 1370 of bill S.520 states that district courts shall not have jurisdiction of a matter if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to review that matter by reason of section 1260, thus taking the district courts of the equation. Section 301 of bill S.520 makes all decisions by Federal courts prior to, on, or after the effective date of this act retroactive opening the door for section 302. Bill S.520 section 302 reads as follows: To the extent that a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States or any judge of any Federal court engages in any activity that exceeds the jurisdiction of the court of that justice or judge, as the case may be, by reason of section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, engaging in that activity shall be deemed to constitute the commission of--
(1) an offense for which the judge may be removed upon impeachment and conviction; and
(2) a breach of the standard of good behavior required by article III, section 1 of the Constitution.
If this bill passes section 301 and 302 are the perfect setup for republicans to start impeaching judges that have not ruled in thier favor. Tom DeLay(R) Texas may have said it best a couple weeks ago when he stated "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." This was in response to the Federal Courts ruling on Terry Schaivo and it appears that the assault on the Judiciary has begun.

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