The Constitution expressly limits the power of federal judges to what our elected representatives give them. After all, what is the point of having representative government if non-elected and unaccountable judges decide everything of significance?
Congress and the president should not pass the buck to judges in black robes and hide behind their skirts when they make outrageous decisions. Here are some ways Congress can start to restore representative government.
Congress should withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, and the Defense of Marriage Act. Two bills to do this (the Akin Bill and the Hostettler Bill) easily passed the House last fall but were ignored by the Senate, and now it is time to make them law.
Congress should withdraw jurisdiction over court challenges to the Boy Scouts of America, a federally chartered organization, which the American Civil Liberties Union is currently trying to ban from public schools. The ACLU is seeking activist judges who will rule it a violation of the First Amendment for the Boy Scouts to pledge allegiance to God and country and commit to keeping themselves "morally straight."
Congress should repeal the 1976 law that permits activist judges to grant lavish attorney's fees to the ACLU when it succeeds in banning the Boy Scouts, the Ten Commandments or a cross that has existed on public property for decades.
Both Houses of Congress should hold hearings about remedies for supremacist decisions. Congress should bring defiant judges before the American people to answer questions about their worst rulings.
Any judge who allows an adulterer with a live-in girlfriend to terminate the life of his wife should be impeached. Victims of such judges should have the right to demand a different judge (as is currently granted by Illinois courts).
Now that judges embrace forcibly starving someone to death, Congress should use its appropriation power to starve the judicial budget. Let's cut out judges' perks such as travel to international conferences where they pick up bad ideas about conforming our laws to foreign opinions and United Nations treaties.
On April 1, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized congressional resolutions to curb the out-of-control judges, saying, "It is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support." She endorsed the practice of consulting foreign and international law.
But Chief Justice William Rehnquist included this statement in his annual report without any criticism or comment: "There were several bills introduced in the last Congress that would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts to decide constitutional challenges to certain kinds of government action."
Maybe Rehnquist was reminding Congress of its constitutional powers to constrain the judiciary.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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