ON CAPITOL HILL
Legislation keeps God issues out of courts
Roy Moore-inspired bill
prevents Ten Commandments challenges
Posted: June 2, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Ron Strom
� 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
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.
"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
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
Though Aderholt was not
successful with the bill last year, Harris says it is not simply a
"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
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
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
Both versions of the bill have
been referred to the two houses' respective judiciary committees.