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"Under God" bill fails to advance

ScreamingEagle

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What's with these Republicans? All talk and no do. :wtf:

WASHINGTON – House Republicans failed Wednesday to advance a bill protecting the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Only a day earlier, the GOP had placed the measure on its “American Values Agenda” in hopes of bolstering the party's prospects in the fall election.

But Republicans could not muster a simple majority on the issue in a committee where they outnumber Democrats by six.

The legislation tries to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over cases challenging the pledge. It responds to a federal appeals court ruling in 2002 that the pledge is unconstitutional because it contains the words “under God.” A district court judge made a similar ruling last fall, citing the appeals court precedent.

A simple majority is required to report a bill to the House floor with a favorable committee recommendation. The House Judiciary Committee split 15-15 on the pledge bill Wednesday; Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., joined 14 Democrats to oppose it.

Inglis said he is concerned that if the Republican-dominated Congress passes “court-stripping” legislation, a future Democrat-dominated Congress might pass its own bill denying courts jurisdiction of more issues. In addition, he said, the legislation would allow state courts to rule on issues related to the Pledge of Allegiance while denying litigants the ability to appeal to a federal court.

Seven of the committee's 23 Republicans did not show up for the vote, while three Democrats were absent. The chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said he would try again for a majority on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders failed by a single vote to pass a constitutional amendment to ban the burning of the American flag.

The GOP's “American Values Agenda” also includes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which died in the Senate before it even reached a vote; a prohibition on human cloning; and possibly votes on several popular tax cuts.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20060628-1508-pledge.html
 

musicman

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ScreamingEagle said:
The legislation tries to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over cases challenging the pledge.

That seems reasonable to me. How is this a federal matter?

ScreamingEagle said:
Inglis said he is concerned that if the Republican-dominated Congress passes “court-stripping” legislation, a future Democrat-dominated Congress might pass its own bill denying courts jurisdiction of more issues.

Horseshit. That's not how Democrats operate, and Inglis knows it. It runs contrary to their very ideology. If anything, they'll try to INCREASE federal jurisdiction, in order to circumvent that pesky concept - the will of the people. The Republicans are just being themselves - weak, trembling, and trouser-soaked. Why did we elect these pricks in the first place, if not to defend the Constitution? Grrr!

ScreamingEagle said:
In addition, he said, the legislation would allow state courts to rule on issues related to the Pledge of Allegiance while denying litigants the ability to appeal to a federal court.

So? What the hell ARE state courts - a weigh station on the divinely predestined path to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals? They're SUPPOSED to rule on state matters!
 

jillian

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Doesn't much matter what the Congress does. It's a lot of noise on the part of the right and yet another wedge issue.

Congress can't pass a law that is unconstitutional and can't take away review power from the Court.

Of course it didn't pass. The bill was ridiculous. But it got your blood going and will get out the right-wing vote for the midterm election. :salute:
 

Gunny

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jillian said:
Doesn't much matter what the Congress does. It's a lot of noise on the part of the right and yet another wedge issue.

Congress can't pass a law that is unconstitutional and can't take away review power from the Court.

Of course it didn't pass. The bill was ridiculous. But it got your blood going and will get out the right-wing vote for the midterm election. :salute:

That a fact. If Congress can't control the judiciary, just suppose you tell who can.

It is only your opinion that the law would be unconstitutional.

We probably should get rid of the Pledge of Allegience anyway. Only half of Americans believe in the words anyway.
 

musicman

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jillian said:
Congress can't pass a law that is unconstitutional and can't take away review power from the Court.

Eau contraire, jilly-bear. Congress, can, and does, set jurisdictions. In fact - once upon a time - it did so in defense of the de-centralizing design of the U.S. Constitution. You remember the Constitution, don't you - the document that put the federal government on a short, jealously-guarded leash, so that the people could control the conduct of their everyday lives - independent of Big Daddy Government? A quaint concept - I know...

jillian said:
Of course it didn't pass. The bill was ridiculous. But it got your blood going and will get out the right-wing vote for the midterm election. :salute:

Did you...READ my post? The Republicans are diligently, determinedly slashing their own throats with conservative America. Congress's gutlessness is wearing thin.
 

Annie

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I wonder if Jillian had this professor for the Legislative Process course? But shouldn't law school have fixed that? :shocked: Links at site:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008574
Great Moments in Higher Education
The U.S. Senate is considering an amendment to the Constitution that would exclude the desecration of the flag from the First Amendment's free-speech protections, effectively overturning the Supreme Court's ruling in Texas v. Johnson (1989) that held burning the flag to be a form of "symbolic speech." Sixty senators have signed on as sponsors, with 67 needed to propose the amendment. The House approved it last year, 286-130, so an affirmative Senate vote would send it to the states, 38 of whose legislatures would have to ratify it.

Weighing in against the proposed amendment, in an op-ed for the Charlotte Observer, is Dr. Susan Roberts:

Flag burning was thrust into the public eye following an arrest of a young man during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas. The man identified himself as a member of a group calling itself the Revolutionary Youth Brigade. He was charged with a violation of the Texas Desecration of Venerated Objects statute.

In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision that the man was within his First Amendment rights. Wasting no time, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act just months after the ruling. Wasting no time, the Supreme Court ruled that the Flag Protection Act was inconsistent with First Amendment freedoms and thus unconstitutional.

It seems unlikely that the Supreme Court would now uphold an amendment prohibiting flag burning, even with the change in the court's composition.​

It may seem unlikely that the Supreme Court would uphold a statute prohibiting flag burning (and indeed, in 1990's U.S. v. Eichman it overturned the federal Flag Protection Act of 1989). That's why Congress is considering a constitutional amendment, which the court couldn't overturn.

It's embarrassing enough that Dr. Roberts's error got past the editors of the Observer, but it's even worse that she made such a goof in the first place. For she is not a real doctor but a professor of political science, at North Carolina's Davidson College, where she teaches such courses as The Legislative Process (POL 211) and The Politics of Feminism (POL 215).

It is troubling indeed to think that the political scientists of tomorrow are being taught by people who lack basic knowledge about the workings of American government.

Oh, Taranto goes on to add:

Burned Out
No doubt you are dying to know where this column stands on the flag-desecration amendment. The answer is, we are against it. Our view is that the Supreme Court got it right in 1989: Insofar as desecrating the flag is an act of political expression, it is protected by the First Amendment. (The objection that it isn't "speech" is overly literal. What we're doing now--causing pixels to form meaningful patterns on thousands of computer screens--isn't exactly speech either, but we like to think the First Amendment protects it from government interference.)

Burning the flag is a stupid and ugly act, but there is something lovely and enlightened about a regime that tolerates it in the name of freedom. And of course it has the added benefit of making it easier to spot the idiots.

...
 

jillian

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GunnyL said:
That a fact. If Congress can't control the judiciary, just suppose you tell who can.

It is only your opinion that the law would be unconstitutional.

We probably should get rid of the Pledge of Allegience anyway. Only half of Americans believe in the words anyway.

Congress sure CAN'T control the judiciary. It's a co-equal branch of government.

And good to know you once again chime in with an anti-democracy pov. You're consistent. ;)
 

jillian

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musicman said:
Eau contraire, jilly-bear. Congress, can, and does, set jurisdictions. In fact - once upon a time - it did so in defense of the de-centralizing design of the U.S. Constitution. You remember the Constitution, don't you - the document that put the federal government on a short, jealously-guarded leash, so that the people could control the conduct of their everyday lives - independent of Big Daddy Government? A quaint concept - I know...

Er...jilly bear? hmmmmmmmm.... interesting. I'll take that as a term of endearment and not what it sounds like, k? :)

Congress can and does set jurisdiction as to subject matter jurisdiction. But it CANNOt usurp the power of the Court over a Constitutional issue.

Did you...READ my post? The Republicans are diligently, determinedly slashing their own throats with conservative America. Congress's gutlessness is wearing thin.

I read your post. You seem to confuse right-wing extremists with "conservatives". Don't worry, you're not alone in that. Common affliction of about 1/3 of the country.
 

jillian

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Kathianne said:
I wonder if Jillian had this professor for the Legislative Process course? But shouldn't law school have fixed that? :shocked: Links at site:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008574


Oh, Taranto goes on to add:


Er...Kathianne, we weren't talking about a constitutional amendment, which is what that article is about (or am I missing something). We were talking about Congress, by a simple majority, undermining judicial review of the Constitution and usurping judicial power.

BTW, "legislative process", which I assume would be akin to my American Congress class in college, isn't be a law school subject. :)

But I DID have a brilliant con-law professor. Boring as hell as a prof but amazing background. :)
 

musicman

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Kathianne said:
I wonder if Jillian had this professor for the Legislative Process course? But shouldn't law school have fixed that? :shocked: Links at site:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008574

LMAO - such is the state of higher education in this country!

And, actually, I'm against a specific federal ban myself. But, taking it out of federal jurisdiction is something I can definitely get behind. "Constitutionally protected free speech" is a bit of a stretch, IMHO. Like almost any other matter of everyday behavior, I say, follow the lead of our founding fathers. Trust states, communities, and individuals to run their own lives.
 

musicman

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jillian said:
Er...jilly bear? hmmmmmmmm.... interesting. I'll take that as a term of endearment

'Twas absolutely meant as such!:)

jillian said:
Congress can and does set jurisdiction as to subject matter jurisdiction. But it CANNOt usurp the power of the Court over a Constitutional issue.

I'd love to see this battle played out. Flag desecration as protected speech strikes me as one of those bits of activist, interpretive fantasy that cannot survive a constructionist court.

jillian said:
I read your post. You seem to confuse right-wing extremists with "conservatives". Don't worry, you're not alone in that. Common affliction of about 1/3 of the country.

Do you consider me a "right-wing extremist"?
 

Gunny

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jillian said:
Congress sure CAN'T control the judiciary. It's a co-equal branch of government.

And good to know you once again chime in with an anti-democracy pov. You're consistent. ;)

Correction: that's anti-DEMOCRAT. Your leftist slip is showing trying to represent my words as something they are not, and quite consistent of YOU.

Co-equal my ass. The judiciary in this Nation is out of control, and as unlikely as it is that it will ever happen, only Congress has the power to reel it in.
 

jillian

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musicman said:
'Twas absolutely meant as such!:)

:salute:



I'd love to see this battle played out. Flag desecration as protected speech strikes me as one of those bits of activist, interpretive fantasy that cannot survive a constructionist court.

See, I think that's a dangerous game. This country has worked pretty well for a couple of hundred years plus. Messing up the balance of powers because of a short-term agenda makes no sense to me.

And you mean a right wing court....because since the first Court decisions, the Constitution was NEVER to be taken literally, or judicial review wouldn't even exist since it is the result of Court decisons, as well. And the one thing I know is that even people who are really far to the right like Scalia and Alito aren't going to let Congress interfere with their power...and they get the last word on the subject.


Do you consider me a "right-wing extremist"?

I think you're pretty far to the right on some issues, more to the center on others....at least that's how it seems to me. But I suspect you'd think I'm pretty far to the left on some issues, and more to the center on others, too.

To me, a "conservative" is someone who wants balanced budgets and as little governmental interference with our private lives and freedoms as possible.
 

musicman

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jillian said:
See, I think that's a dangerous game. This country has worked pretty well for a couple of hundred years plus. Messing up the balance of powers because of a short-term agenda makes no sense to me.

Then, how do you justify judicial activism (that is, the practice of ruling on grounds extrinsic to the Constitution)? Is "messing up the balance of powers because of a short-term agenda" only OK when that agenda is liberal?

jillian said:
And you mean a right wing court....because since the first Court decisions, the Constitution was NEVER to be taken literally

OK - here is where yours and my serious differences lie, since:

jillian said:
To me, a "conservative" is someone who wants balanced budgets and as little governmental interference with our private lives and freedoms as possible...

...and, to me, a conservative is one who understands that man's natural inclination is toward tyranny, and that our only defense is a literal interpretation - and vigorous defense - of the U.S. Constitution.
 

jillian

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musicman said:
Then, how do you justify judicial activism (that is, the practice of ruling on grounds extrinsic to the Constitution)? Is "messing up the balance of powers because of a short-term agenda" only OK when that agenda is liberal?

I think "activism" is a pat phrase used whenever the Court does something we don't like. In actuality, I agree with the concept that judicial "activism" is actually the striking down of legislation -- something done far more by the right than by the left.

OK - here is where yours and my serious differences lie, since:

Fair enough.

...and, to me, a conservative is one who understands that man's natural inclination is toward tyranny, and that our only defense is a literal interpretation - and vigorous defense - of the U.S. Constitution.

Even if that "literal interpretation" fosters tyranny and hampers individual freedoms?
 

dilloduck

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jillian said:
I think "activism" is a pat phrase used whenever the Court does something we don't like. In actuality, I agree with the concept that judicial "activism" is actually the striking down of legislation -- something done far more by the right than by the left.

OK - here is where yours and my serious differences lie, since:

Fair enough.



Even if that "literal interpretation" fosters tyranny and hampers individual freedoms?

Tyrants often disguise themselves as champions of individual freedom.
 

jillian

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dilloduck said:
Tyrants often disguise themselves as champions of individual freedom.

That sounds awfully facile. An example of tyranny disguised as individual freedom, please?
 

musicman

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jillian said:
I think "activism" is a pat phrase used whenever the Court does something we don't like. In actuality, I agree with the concept that judicial "activism" is actually the striking down of legislation -- something done far more by the right than by the left.

But that's not what it is generally understood to mean, jillian. You know this; we've been through it many times. If we can start calling black white every time it supports an argument, language itself becomes meaningless. Moreover, you have not answered my original question: why was it OK for the judiciary to spend the last sixty years messing up the balance of powers in the name of a short-term agenda? Isn't wrong ALWAYS wrong?

jillian said:
Even if that "literal interpretation" fosters tyranny and hampers individual freedoms?

Understanding that any human enterprise is necessarily fraught with imperfection, to which side should we err - toward the will of the people, or that of a judicial elite? Can there always be a definitive answer to that question? No, I'll admit. But, in so doing, I thereby deny the demigod status of the judiciary. The beating heart of the Constitution is its determination to thwart tyranny in all its forms. That document, must, therefore, be our guide.
 

manu1959

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i pledge allegiance to the flag (as long as i can burn it)
of the united states of america (press 1 for English)
one nation (unless you entered illegally)
under god (just don't talk about it)
indivisible (unless you are a blue state and want to secede)
with liberty (if the aclu condones it)
and justice (as long as you have been born)
for all (as long as the 9th circuit agrees)
 

dilloduck

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jillian said:
That sounds awfully facile. An example of tyranny disguised as individual freedom, please?

An example of a tryant who gained his power by promising freedom for those who would fight with him? Too facile?
 

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