The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

House measure seeks to restrict what courts can hear

I guess the Pledge Protection Act was intended as a little brother to the flag desecration amendment. But it went a little further than legislating patriotism-- it would've undermined the authority of US courts to act as a co-equal branch of government.

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.