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Congress moves to restrict court rulings on God 

05/18/05 "Vermont Guardian

WASHINGTON Conservatives balk at accusations that the current Congress and the Bush administration are intent on turning the United States into a theocracy. Yet, a bill sponsored by 28 members of the U.S. House and Senate looks like a move in that direction. 

According to the text of the bill, the proposed Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 would remove the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over "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." 

Commenting on the general trend, Bill Moyers noted in a March article for the New York Review of Books that the religious right backs nearly half the members of Congress. "Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the most influential Christian Right advocacy groups," he noted. 

If passed, the bill also would limit the ability of judges to interpret the Constitution if it involved "any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States." 

Judges who fail to comply could be impeached or prosecuted. 

Project Censored award-winning journalist W. David Kubiak charges that the bill would divorce U.S. jurisprudence from "our hard-won secular history and international norms." The Conservative Caucus has called it an important step that would prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from weighing in on "the acknowledgement of God (as in the Roy Moore 10 Commandments issue); and it also restricts federal courts from recognizing the laws of foreign countries and international law [e.g., against torture, global warming, unjust wars, etc.] as the supreme law of our land." 

Thus far, the mainstream media has ignored the legislation. A May 16 search of Google News turned up no coverage, despite the fact that the office of lead sponsor Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, told Kubiak last week, "We have the votes for passage."

Copyright: Vermont Guardian.

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