theocracy watch; or, galiel’s canaries are choking already

Via Kip and Majickthise (see also Steve Gilliard, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and George McEvoy in the Palm Beach Post): there are currently several bills in the House and Senate that need to be beaten into quivering blobs of American Taliban mush. Let’s take a look at them.
Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 (S. 2323/H. R. 3799=S.2082)
Title: A bill to limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism.
Summary:

Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government by reason of that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than the constitutional law and English common law.
Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.
Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.

Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act (H.R.3190)
Title: To safeguard our religious liberties.
Summary:

Declares that among those powers reserved to the States and their political subdivisions are the powers to display the Ten Commandments, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and to recite the national motto on or within property owned or administered by them.
Declares that: (1) the Pledge of Allegiance shall be, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all.”; and (2) the national motto shall be, “In God we trust.”
Excepts from the jurisdiction of Federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court the display of the Ten Commandments and the use of the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ten Commandments Defense Act of 2003 (H.R.2045)
Title: To defend the Ten Commandments.
Summary:

Declares the following : (1) that the power to display the Ten Commandments on or within property owned or administered by the several States or their political subdivisions is among the powers reserved to the States respectively (under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution); (2) that the expression of religious faith by individual persons on or within property owned or administered by the several States or their political subdivisions is among the rights secured (under the First Amendment) against laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion made or enforced by the Federal Government; and (3) that the expression of religious faith by individual persons on or within property owned or administered by the several States or their political subdivisions is among the liberties of which no State shall deprive any person without due process of law made in pursuance of powers reserved to the States respectively.

Marriage Protection Act of 2004 (H.R.3313)
Title: To amend title 28, United States Code, to limit Federal court jurisdiction over questions under the Defense of Marriage Act.
Summary:

Amends the Federal judicial code to deny Federal courts jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of: (1) the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that provides that no State shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex under the laws of any other State; or (2) this Act.

These are the six bills you can oppose at a stroke by using AU’s one-stop emailer to contact your representatives. In addition, consider the following:
Pledge Protection Act of 2004 (H.R. 2028)
Title: To amend title 28, United States Code, with respect to the jurisdiction of Federal courts over certain cases and controversies involving the Pledge of Allegiance.
Summary:

Amends the Federal judicial code to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution. Makes this limitation inapplicable to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Oppose this via AU here.
Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act (H.R. 235)
Title: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect the religious free exercise and free speech rights of churches and other houses of worship.
Summary:

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to state that churches and other houses of worship shall not lose such designation because of the content, preparation, or presentation of any homily, sermon, teaching, dialectic, or other presentation made during religious services or gatherings.
States that such provision shall not affect campaign finance laws under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

Oppose this via AU here.
Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2003 (S. 893)
Title: A bill to amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to establish provisions with respect to religious accommodation in employment, and for other purposes.
Summary:

Amends the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 regarding religious observance in the workplace to declare that for an employer’s accommodation of an employee’s religious observance or practice to be considered reasonable, it must remove the conflict between employment requirements and the employee’s religious observance or practice.
Deems as an unlawful employment practice an employer’s refusal to permit an employee to use leave of general usage to remove the conflict solely because the leave will be used to accommodate the religious observance or practice of the employee.

Oppose this via AU here.
More to come on this, but not in a hurry as I’m swamped with work.

4 thoughts on “theocracy watch; or, galiel’s canaries are choking already

  1. thou shalt not

    My buddy sennoma posted a couple days ago about some pending Congressional bills that would make any right-thinking human being weep for the trees that were slaughtered to print them. Among them is this gem, which valiantly seeks to rescue the endanger…

  2. Ain’t they something? Yeesh. (The trackback seems to have worked now, but I didn’t do anything. I have, of course, no idea what’s going on with that.)

  3. Brace Yourself

    Remember after the election, when I said that you might not recognize this country in a few years? Brace yourself. Sennoma, over at Malice Aforethought pulls back the curtain to give us a glimpse of what the wingnuts already have in the hopper, and the…

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