Remember awhile back when I mentioned plans to introduce a bill that would effectively bar SCOTUS from ruling on issues of Church and State? Well it looks like Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama (big surprise, eh?) has introduced bill S.520 called the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 which reads as follows:
Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 – 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 concerning 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 English constitutional and common law up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.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.
The bill is pretty much identical to H.R.1070 introduced by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, also from AL, back on March 3rd. This bill appears to basically allow each state to determine for itself what is and isn’t a violation of the Establishment Clause and prohibits the Federal and Supreme Court from weighing in on the issue. Whether it would stand up as constitutional in its own right is questionable, but the fact that it’s been introduced at all is alarming. This doesn’t restore the Constitution, it undermines one of the most important aspects of the Bill of Rights and sets us back 200 years in the process.