Ten Bills to Battle Judicial Activism

Conservatives often bemoan (and rightfully so) the sorry state of our judicial system, more specifically, the state of the liberal sectors of our judicial system and their wanton disregard for the Constitution and federal and state law.

Liberal courts have become much more brazen over the years, changing laws by judicial fiat and discovering “rights” in the Constitution that never before existed.

So, what are our Senators and Representatives doing about it, other than complaining like their constituents?

Here are ten bills that have been introduced in either the Senate or the House this Congress that would address the out-of-control judicial activism that is harming our nation and about which conservatives should be aware:

H. Res. 446

  • Title: Constitutional Preservation Resolution
  • Congressional Research Service (CRS) Summary: Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the Supreme Court should base its decisions on the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and not on the law of any foreign country or international law or agreement not made under the authority of the United States.
  • S. Res. 275

  • Title: A Resolution to Affirm the Defense of Marriage Act
  • CRS Summary: Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) Congress should take whatever steps necessary to affirm the fact that marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman; (2) same-sex marriage is not a right, fundamental or otherwise, recognized in this country; (3) neither the U.S. Constitution nor any Federal law shall be construed to require that marital status or its legal incidents be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups; (4) the Defense of Marriage Act is a proper and constitutional exercise of Congress’s powers under the effects clause of section 1 of Article IV; and (5) that no State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such entities, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.
  • H. Res. 468

  • Title & Summary: Expressing disapproval of the consideration by Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States of foreign laws and public opinion in their decisions, urging the end of this practice immediately to avoid setting a dangerous precedent, and urging all Justices to base their opinions solely on the merits under the Constitution of the United States.
  • H.R. 1547

  • Title: Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  • CRS Summary: Amends the Federal judicial code to deny the district courts of the United States, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States Court of Federal Claims jurisdiction to hear or determine any case in which any requirement, prohibition, or other provision relating to religious freedom that is contained in a State or Federal statute is at issue.
  • H.R. 3893

  • Title: We the People Act
  • From the bill: “. . . Congress has the responsibility to protect the republican governments of the States and has the power to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the lower Federal courts over matters that are reserved to the States and to the People by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. […]

    “The Supreme Court of the United States and each Federal court shall not adjudicate any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion; any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation . . .”

  • H.R. 3799

  • Title: Constitution Restoration Act of 2004
  • CRS Summary: Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government or officer of such government by reason of that element’s or officer’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

    Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than the constitutional law and English common law.

    Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.

    Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.

  • S. 2082

  • Title: Constitution Restoration Act (Related bill for H.R. 3799)
  • Summary: According to its official title, the bill will “limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism.” It has three major parts designed to accomplish this.

    1. Jurisdiction: Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, will not have jurisdiction to review any case in which a plaintiff is seeking relief against the government — Federal, State, or local — or a government officer for the “acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

    2. Interpretation: “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 English constitutional and common law.”

    3. Enforcement: First, the bill will make any Federal court decision, which, by the enactment of this legislation, would be considered outside that court’s jurisdiction, non-binding precedent for any State court.

    The bill also provides for the impeachment, conviction, and removal of any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who engages in activity exceeding that court’s jurisdiction, as outlined by this bill.

  • H.R. 3920

  • Title: Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004
  • From the bill: “. . . The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.
  • H.R. 3190

  • Title: Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act
  • CRS Summary: Declares that among those powers reserved to the States and their political subdivisions are the powers to display the Ten Commandments, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and to recite the national motto on or within property owned or administered by them.

    Declares that: (1) the Pledge of Allegiance shall be, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all.”; and (2) the national motto shall be, “In God we trust.”

    Excepts from the jurisdiction of Federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court the display of the Ten Commandments and the use of the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • S. 1558

  • Title: Religious Liberties Restoration Act
  • Summary: This bill will reserve to the States (a) the power to display the Ten Commandments on or within State property; (b) the power to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on or within State property (noting that the official Pledge will remain as it currently reads, including those two words that have been such anathema to the Left — “under God”); and (c) the power to recite the national motto — “In God we trust” — on or within State property.

    Most importantly, this bill will keep these powers out of the jurisdiction of Federal courts other than the Supreme Court.