Americans United for Separation of Church and State today hailed the House Judiciary Committee’s defeat of a bill that would have stripped the federal courts of their ability to hear cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance.
The so-called “Pledge Protection Act” (H.R. 2389) failed on a 15-15 vote this morning. One Republican, U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, voted with 14 Democrats to scuttle the measure.
The bill was heavily backed by Religious Right groups, which seek to undercut the authority of the federal courts to rule on church-state issues.As a CNN column from 2004 makes clear, this bill has been floating around the House since at least the last election cycle (big surprise there), and represents another attempt to rewrite the Constitution for the sake of maintaining the Republican stranglehold on government.
If we saw the same outrage this week toward a Congress that repeatedly attempts to pass blatantly unconstitutional laws as we do toward the free press over the bogus financial record monitoring story, the country could be in a much better place right now.