Protecting Our Freedom of Religion: Congress Has a Golden Opportunity to Prevent the Supreme Court and All Other Federal Courts from Ruling on Acknowledgement-of-God Issues

Article excerpt

Recent judicial atrocities have awakened Congress to its long-neglected ability to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court by using powers granted in Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court granted practitioners of sodomy protection for their behaviors. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued the case in favor of Lawrence's position that sodomy has constitutional protection. The court cited decisions of foreign courts in determining that the Constitution protects sodomy. The Founding Fathers would have been astounded and revolted by the decision.

Later, a federal court ordered Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the building housing the Alabama Supreme Court chambers. The monument was removed from the rotunda--and Judge Moore was subsequently removed from office.

These miscarriages of justice would have been prevented by a bill now pending before both houses of Congress. The bill, known as the Constitution Restoration Act, has eight cosponsors in the Senate (where the bill number is S. 520) and 40 in the House (H.R. 1070).

Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution gives Congress power to provide "exceptions to and regulation of" the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Moreover, since all other federal courts are created by acts of Congress, their jurisdictions are subject to congressional control. S. 520 and H.R. 1070 deny to the Supreme Court jurisdiction to hear appeals involving the "acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty or government," by any level of government or by any agent thereof.

The First Amendment to the Constitution has two provisions regarding religious liberty. It prohibits Congress from establishing any denomination as an official national religion. It also guarantees the personal, individual liberty of the free exercise of religion. Through a series of court decisions, these provisions have morphed into a prohibition of the mention of God or anything that "endorses" religion by any official in any level of government. It is a blatant distortion of the First Amendment. Again, the ACLU was behind these decisions. That organization was founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin and others. Baldwin was an avowed socialist, whose stated goal was to destroy Christianity and capitalism. Other organizations in league with the ACLU in these efforts are People for the American Way and the National Education Association.

S. 520 and H.R. 1070 also provide that "in interpreting the Constitution ..., a [federal] court may not rely upon" foreign law. The process of interpreting the Constitution involves applying the words of that document to a set of facts in the case before a court. It also involves examining and generally following earlier decisions which had the same constitutional provisions and fact patterns similar to those in the case before the court. Foreign law has no place in the process. The laws and court decisions of other countries are peculiar to their legal systems and their cultures. Reliance upon foreign law to interpret the Constitution is a practice fraught with pitfalls and opportunities for distortions and mistakes. It has no place in constitutional jurisprudence. S. 520 and H.R. 1070 also limit the jurisdictions of lower federal courts, as well as the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. …