A bill that would prohibit federal courts from ruling in cases involving government officials who acknowledge God “as the sovereign source of law, liberty or government” has been reintroduced in Congress after it failed to get a hearing last year.
Roy Moore (Photo: WSFA.com)
The “Constitution Restoration Act,” H.R. 1070 and S. 520, sponsored in the House by Rep Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., and in the Senate by Sen Richard Shelby, R-Ala., was birthed in the aftermath of the ouster of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was sanctioned by the courts for acknowledging God by way of a Ten Commandments monument in the state’s judicial building. Moore is a constituent of both lawmakers and was instrumental in drafting the measure.
Supporters of the bill, introduced March 3, cite Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which authorizes Congress to limit the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts.
It reads in part: “… the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”
“We’re continuing to add co-sponsors to the bill,” Aderholt’s chief of staff, Hood Harris, told WND. “That’s the first step toward moving it out of committee.”
Continued Harris: “Roy Moore has a lot of experience with this issue, so we consulted with him in drafting the legislation. He’s been helpful in trying to raise awareness and getting people in other districts to call their congressmen to get them to sign on to it.”
Though Aderholt was not successful with the bill last year, Harris says it is not simply a symbolic gesture.
“We’re optimistic,” he said. “If people will call their congressmen and urge their congressmen to co-sponsor, we can see progress on this. It’s not just a symbolic thing.”
The House bill has 32 co-sponsors currently. The Senate version has eight co-sponsors, including former Majority Leader Trent Lott.
Touted by some supporters as one of the most important pieces of legislation in U.S. history, the bill states:
The Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element’s or officer’s acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
The legislation also addresses what many high-court watchers consider a dangerous trend: Supreme Court justices looking to foreign law and rulings for guidance when deciding cases. States the bill:
In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon 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 the constitutional law and English common law.
Under the bill, any judge who violates the proposed rule by making “extrajurisdictional” decisions will have committed an offense that is grounds for impeachment.
Supporters of the legislation point to the many cases in recent years that have sought to purge any mention of God from the public square. Along with Moore’s case, they cite the Pledge of Allegiance case, which was argued before the high court last year, nativity scenes being banned from public property and schools, and cases limiting prayer at public-school gatherings.
Both versions of the bill have been referred to the two houses’ respective judiciary committees.