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House bill would block Supreme Court on Pledge

Measure stirs up religion, separation of powers

Thursday, September 23, 2004 Posted: 5:27 PM EDT (2127 GMT)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House passed legislation Thursday that would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on whether the words "under God" should be stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance

 

The bill, which the House approved, 247-173, would prohibit federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from hearing cases involving the pledge and its recitation and would prevent federal courts from striking the words "under God" from the pledge.

 

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri., who wrote the amendment on legislation before the House on Thursday, said the outcome could be different if the high court rules on the substance, or "if we allow activist judges to start creating law and say that it is wrong to somehow allow schoolchildren to say 'under God' in the pledge."

 

In such a scenario, Akin said, Congress will have "emasculated the very heart of what America has always been about."

 

....

But many Democrats said the real objective of Thursday's debate was to force them into an unpopular vote just weeks before the election. Aside from the constitutional issue, a large percentage of Americans, and almost all members of Congress, think "under God" should stay in the pledge.

....

 

"This bill has been brought to the floor to embarrass some members, so I respect whatever decisions they have to make in light of the motivations behind it," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California In the end, 34 Democrats voted for the bill and six Republicans opposed it.

 

A closer vote was on an amendment by Rep. Mel Watt, D-North Carolina., that would have returned the legislation to its original form, under which lower federal courts were barred from ruling on the pledge but the Supreme Court retained its authority.

 

There is no direct precedent for making exceptions to the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction, said Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Illinois, who backed the original bill but opposed the changes.

 

"The issue today may be the pledge, but what if the issue tomorrow is Second Amendment (gun) rights, civil rights, environmental protection, or a host of other issue that members may hold dear?" she asked.

 

WTF is this?? This just reaks of a cheap opportunity for congressmen to point at others & say "see?! that other guy would allow God to be striken from the Pledge!"

 

:thumbdown

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The Supreme Court can't be overruled by Congress. This won't stand, and when it's appealed (if it passes) you know the SC will shut it down.

 

Only two things can overrule the Court - Itself, and a Constitutional Ammendment. That won't change.

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The Supreme Court can't be overruled by Congress. This won't stand, and when it's appealed (if it passes) you know the SC will shut it down.

 

Only two things can overrule the Court - Itself, and a Constitutional Ammendment. That won't change.

570547[/snapback]

 

But, If the house somehow circumvents the power of judicial oversight (a'la this bill) how exactly would the SC be able to exercise judicial oversight?

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The Supreme Court can't be overruled by Congress. This won't stand, and when it's appealed (if it passes) you know the SC will shut it down.

 

Only two things can overrule the Court - Itself, and a Constitutional Ammendment. That won't change.

570547[/snapback]

 

But, If the house somehow circumvents the power of judicial oversight (a'la this bill) how exactly would the SC be able to exercise judicial oversight?

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They'd have to wait until it was brought in court.

 

My thinking, thought I'm not sure it would happen, is if the "Under God" case is appealed to the Supreme Court, the Court will take it and in its decision tell Congress it's a little piece of crap and has no power over the courts. In a nice political way of course.

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The Supreme Court can't be overruled by Congress. This won't stand, and when it's appealed (if it passes) you know the SC will shut it down.

 

Only two things can overrule the Court - Itself, and a Constitutional Ammendment. That won't change.

570547[/snapback]

 

But, If the house somehow circumvents the power of judicial oversight (a'la this bill) how exactly would the SC be able to exercise judicial oversight?

570636[/snapback]

 

The bill prohibits them from passing judgment on the pledge issue - it does not prevent them from passing judgment on the legality of the bill itself.

 

IMO, this is basic Marbury v Madison stuff.

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Yup. Even if this ever did become law, they could strike the bill down as unconstitutional (which it is) and then listen to the 'Under God' case immediately after if they saw fit.

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The Supreme Court had better declare this bill unconstitutional, since it clearly is. If they let it stand, they will lose all of the powers they were given when the Constitution was written.

 

I find that whole "Under God" case in California ridiculous, since the father doesn't even have total custody of the child he claims might be influenced by those two words in the Pledge. I think they deserve to stay in the Pledge, and this is coming from someone who doesn't care much for religion. The SC needs to just hear this case, and then end it once and for all.

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A very scary thought which i dont think was mentioned is that the legislature actually could overrule the court witha consitituional amendment, and it is a terrible thought to think that if congress is willing to pass such a bill, maybe they'd also be willing to pass an amendment, which may or may not be ratified by the states but thats beside the point. This could limit judicial power and hurt the balance of power

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The chances of a constitutional amendment being passed for this are about the same chance I magically wake up a goat tomorrow morning. They'd need 2/3 of Congress, plus 3/4 of states? Not happening.

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Yes, I know. What is your point?

 

Congress can do nothing to the Supreme Court, they know it. No one has jurisdiction over the Supreme Court except under cases of criminal activity or retirement, and it's designed that way on purpose to deflect stupidities like this.

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A very scary thought which i dont think was mentioned is that the legislature actually could overrule the court witha? consitituional amendment, and it is a terrible thought to think that if congress is willing to pass such a bill, maybe they'd also be willing to pass an amendment, which may or may not be ratified by the states but thats beside the point. This could limit judicial power and hurt the balance of power

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Ammendments are worthless unless ratified.

575923[/snapback]

 

 

Yea thats why i said 'which may or may not be ratified' i clearly was arguing a hypothetical not a reality

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