Saturday, March 13, 2004

Holy (Log)Rolling

I thought to myself, "You have got to be kidding..." upon first reading about The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 (PDF). A more obtuse and meaningless lump of language could hardly be imagined. I learned of it because the Russian's were making fun of us about it. Anything that makes us the butt of Russian jokes has got to be unbelievably stupid. In part, it 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."

If you are left shaking your head, or scratching it in confusion, you are not alone. Introduced by some the worst reptiliod throwbacks in Congress, including the increasingly loathesome Zell Miller, this bill seeks to cut the heart out of the Federal Judiciary's jurisdiction by the moronic device of invoking God. That's right; invoke God's holy name and collect a "get out of Constitutional scrutiny free" card.

Inspired by the obnoxious controversy of displaying the ten commandments in courthouses around the Bible Belt, the law seeks to place God above the state. What is delightfully amusing about this is that the idiots who promulgated this pap don't seem to realize that, given America's demographics, they are likely to land Buddha, the Qu'ran, Ganesh, 100 various saints along with blood sacrifices, and a life-sized resin cast statue of Bob Dobbs in courtrooms, along with their own idolitrous slabs of marble bearing the decalogos.

Perhaps more serious are the, hopefully, unintended consequence of this sloppily drafted beast. Because an officer would be protected from relief in all their acts, official and personal, this "law" it would essentially constitutionalize any executive act made in the name of God, no matter it's content or purpose, and allow government officials to violate the Constitutional rights of citizens, so long as it was done with God's name in their mouths. I could not draft a law which would be worse for religion in America if I tried.

Finally, in another section, this "law" also makes it an impeachable offense for any judge to cite to any law of a foriegn nation, or international organization or agency in any written opinion. This is obviously retaliation for citiing to foreign laws in Bowers v. Harwick, which Constitutionalized sodomy. This would of course make it impossible to administrate justice in any modern nation. No international law, no rules promulgated by international bodies, no trade law, no internatinal standards, no treaty based administrative directives, no UN. No kidding? Guess we can forget about our relations with the rest of the world. As poor as they are with Bush in the Oval, at least there is a considerable residue of law which cushions the effect of even the worst bungler in the White House. All of which would be uninforcible under this "law".

The whole tissue of this proposal is absurd and naive, akin to fishing with dynamite or cyanide. Not only is it deeply stupid, bad for religion, injurious to America's status in the world, but is itself most assuredly unconstitutional in at least a dozen ways. Our civic debate has become horribly debased by zealotry and symbolic politics such as this "law" and the FMA. The perpetrators need to be punished at the ballot box before they can do our nation real harm. Next time you debate a Conservative, tell them about the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 - and try to keep a straight face.


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