Mar 03 2005


Legislation limits jurisdiction of federal courts in certain cases; Promotes federalism

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) today introduced legislation to address the judicial activism so evident in our federal courts. The Constitution Restoration Act, which was first introduced by Senator Shelby in the 108th Congress, aims to reinforce states rights by clarifying that the Supreme Court and district courts do not have jurisdiction to hear cases brought against a federal, state or local government or officer for acknowledging God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

Senator Shelby made the following remarks about the legislation:

“I am pleased to introduce this important piece of legislation that goes to the very foundation of our country and the legitimacy of our system of government. Over the years, we have seen a disturbing and growing trend in our federal courts to deny the rights of our states and our citizens to acknowledge God openly and freely. These tortured legal decisions distort our constitution, our nation's history and its tradition in an effort to secularize our system of government and divest morality from our rule of law.”

“Five years ago, the Supreme Court determined that students could not engage in voluntary prayer at a school football game. More recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it was unconstitutional to recite the words ‘one Nation under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, and a district court in my State of Alabama ruled it was unconstitutional to display the Ten Commandments.”

“It is unfortunate that we have these examples to point to because the simple fact is: our government and our laws are based on Judeo-Christian values and a recognition of God as our Creator. The Declaration of Independence by which we justify the very foundation of our political system holds these truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness— That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”

“Without a recognition of these basic moral truths, we cannot speak of liberty since it would it would no longer be an inalienable right, and we cannot speak of justice since our laws would have no moral reasoning and therefore no legitimacy.”

“Our motto is ‘In God We Trust.’ It is enshrined on our currency.”

“Our national anthem recognizes our motto as ‘In God is Our Trust.’”

“As a federal official, I took an oath of office. The President takes a similar one. State and local officials and our military personnel all swear a similar oath. Jurors and witnesses in our state and federal courts take an oath as do witnesses before Congress. We all swear to uphold the Constitution or tell the truth, ‘so help me God.’”

“Our courts, including the Supreme Court, recognize God in their official proceedings, both the House and Senate acknowledge God through an opening prayer every morning. Our public buildings and monuments honor this heritage through various depictions of the basic moral foundations of our laws and system of government.”

“My point is that you simply can not divest God from our country. Our country has no foundation without a basic recognition that God invests us at birth with basic individual rights – such as the blessings of liberty – that we all enjoy as Americans.”

“I believe that the Courts have exceeded their power. This legislation recognizes the rights of the states and the people as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (ninth and tenth amendments) to acknowledge God.”

“I am pleased to have introduced this bill today and look forward to ushering this legislation through the United State Senate as quickly as possible,” Shelby concluded.

Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL/4) introduced a companion version of this bill in the House of Representatives.

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