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The Hottest Issue of the 2004 Elections: Curbing the Courts

"The discretion of a Judge is the law of tyrants . . . In the best of times it is often caprice ­ in the worst, it is every vice, folly and passion, to which human nature is liable." So spoke Lord Camden long before America was plunged into our current state of judicial tyranny. Surely these are some of our worst times ­ when judges (both national and state) are inflicting their vices, follies, and passions upon every area of American public policy. Curbing these judicial excesses is the most critical of all issues in the 2004 elections.

The U. S. Supreme Court's recent refusal to hear Michael Newdow's challenge to the Pledge of Allegiance provides, at the most, a slight lull in the battle. But this is the time when the U. S. Congress, fully empowered by Article III of the Constitution to curb the courts, should act decisively to do so. Three bills have addressing the Pledge problem and related issues are already before Congress:

  • H. R. 2028, the "Pledge Protection act of 2003" ­ denies federal courts below the Supreme Court the power to hear challenges to the Pledge;

  • H. R. 2045, the "Ten Commandments Defense Act of 2003" ­ denies federal courts below the Supreme Court the power to hear challenges to Ten Commandment displays and expressions of religious faith on state or local government property;

  • S. 1558, the "Religious Liberties Restoration Act" ­ removes from the power of the lower federal courts any jurisdiction over challenges to Ten Commandment displays, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and reciting "In God we trust" on state or local government property; this bill also recognizes "In God we trust" as the national motto.

These bills are a major step in the right direction. But they can, and should, be strengthened.

This goal can be accomplished with a few alterations:

  • These three measures should be merged into one bill. There is already considerable overlap in the bills, and the unity of their focus is obvious. A title such as the "Religious Liberties Defense Act" ("RLDA") would reflect the substance of the merged bill, link it to its three forerunners, and have great voter appeal. Such a merger is logical and would promote simplicity and efficiency in this area of law, where illogic and complexity are rampant.

  • The merged bill should forbid the U. S. Supreme Court to hear the issues covered by the bill. Only a direct and clear limit on the power of the Supremes offers the most hope of curbing this Court which bears so much responsibility for our present constitutional and cultural crisis.

  • The merged bill should cover pending cases raising these issues, as well as cases which might seek a future hearing. The merged RLDA should deny federal money and all other federal authority for the enforcement of any court decisions (including those in pending cases) that violate the RLDA.

  • The RLDA should deny all federal courts the power to hear challenges to itself (i.e., the RLDA).

This proposed "Religious Liberties Defense Act" would serve principle, encourage our people, and place in the hands of constitutionalist candidates a powerful new weapon for their campaigns. Additionally, a merged RLDA should be a part of a package of court-curbing legislation given the highest priority and visibility in the 2004 elections.

What Can You Do?

  • Inform your Senators and Congressmen about a "court-curbing package" starting with creating a merged "RLDA," and encourage them to support it.

  • Watch for proposals regarding additional court-curbing measures, coming soon from Court Watch.

  • Take the Eagle Challenge! Sign Up for an Eagle Forum Study Group!

  • Secure and share copies of our Court Watch "2004 Election Packet" for Reclaiming the Constitution; this unique tool includes:

    1. A summary copy of our constitutionalist principles, "The Constitutionalist Manifesto: A Declaration of Independence from Judicial Supremacy:'"

    2. A unique candidate questionnaire which will reveal candidates' basic beliefs about the Constitution, culture, and courts and which is appropriate for candidates for virtually any office;

    3. An Omnibus Party Resolution on the Constitution and the Courts which should be vigorously promoted as our political parties finalize their party platforms.

  • Visit the web sites of Eagle Forum, Eagle Forum's Court Watch, and the Blackstone Institute for much more ammunition to use in the 2004 elections.

    Subscribe to a fine new Christian world view publication, Rare Jewel Magazine. This can also be accessed at www.blackstoneinstitute.org (click on "In the News" and "Rare Jewel"). It focuses on the hottest issues of our culture and Constitution--the tyrannical courts, marriage and the family, education, etc.

    Working Together in the 2004 Elections, We CAN Make A Difference!

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