I feel dirty, and not in the good way. I've been digging through Congresscritter filth all day, and I need a serious shower. With lye soap. And acid. Ugh.
MeFi discussion on the issue (some interesting & informative points here)
So here are my conclusions so far:
1- Congresscruds introduce stupid bills that they don't expect to pass all the time.
2- This bill may in fact be one such.
3- This bill has been referred to committee for now - which causes me some relief.
But, I think that this particular bill has a bit more behind it than the typical waste of taxpayer dollars. This bill seeks to remove the power of the supreme court to judge the constitutionality of Acts of Congress...which is precisely the thing (or rather, one of the more important things) that the judicial branch of our government was set up to do. By extension, this means that the bill is trying to destroy one of the foundations of our government - specifically the checks & balances system. We're supposed to have 3 distinct branches of government: the executive (president), the legislative (congress) and the judicial (court system). They're supposed to keep each other from getting out of hand.
But the legislative branch, of late, has been buddying up with the executive branch. And their (unconstitutional) plans keep getting balked by judges saying "No, you can't do that, it's unconstitutional". They don't like that (it's really been quite a thorn in their side, a cramp in their style -- see this very informative site for some good examples), and so they seek to make an (unconstitutional) law that will allow them to say to those judges "Neener, neener, we don't care if you say it's unconstitutional. We can do it anyway. See? We made a law that says so!"
And of course, this particular bill would be oh-so-handy to have in place when the !#$&***%$@@*! marriage amendment to the constitution comes to vote, though truly, I think that's one of the more minor possible effects.
Now of course, the "stop acting like chicken little, the sky is NOT falling" folks are saying, "but they *can't* do that. It'd be unconstitutional. The supreme court would strike it down". And they're right - provided it did ever get passed by both houses of congress (and it *could* happen, as much as I'd like to believe otherwise -- see Jesse Ventura and Ahnold if you don't think so), indeed, the supreme court would strike it down.
A congress so opposed to the oversight of the judiciary that it would pass such a blatantly illegal law in the first place has already decided and declared that it has no interest in the opinions of a supreme court, and no intention of bowing to it's authority. And with a president willing to carry out an illegal law (wanna place bets on duhbya's integrity?), who is going to stop them?
The executive branch officially controls all of the armed forces (including the police). If there's civil unrest in response to this illegal behavior, who is going to force the authority figures to behave in accordance with civil rights, or human rights, or anything resembling due process?
In the next little bit of time, the constitution as a foundation for our government could be mowed down like so much hay.
Find & Write to Your Representative
Personally, I don't think it at all unreasonable that we (as members of the various consituencies) demand that the members sponsoring this bill be booted out of the House of Reps altogether. Even if this is a bill that they never intend to pursue, I consider it just this side of treason to have introduced it at all. Hell, IMO? These guys should be tarred, feathered and hanged from the nearest tree as a warning to others who would attack (even in false gesture) the U.S. constitution.
I'll be writing to my rep & senators tomorrow - I'll post my final draft here for anyone who wants to use it for ideas.
The congresscankers co-sponsoring the bill, and their contact info:
Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY) -2nd District Contact Info
Rep. Jim DeMint (R-SC) -4th District
Rep. Terry Everett (R-AL) -2nd District
Contact Info: Email Other
Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) 11th District Contact Info
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) -6th District
Rep. Mac Collins (R-GA)
Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) -5th District
Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) - 16th District
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) -2nd District
Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) - 5th District
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) - 4th District
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) - 1st District