American Taliban, yet again.

Just a reminder to Kansans reading this: get out and vote today. There is, of course, only the slightest chance that enough of us could get out there to defeat the Gay Marriage amendment, but a slight chance is better than no chance at all.

As I’ve said before, the American Taliban will continue to push their agenda down our throats only for as long as we sit by and let them.

Case in point, again for my fellow Kansans:

Here’s a lovely little bit of Christian Fascism being proposed by our dear Senator, Sam Brownback: The “Constitution Restoration Act” (CRA).

Introduced in the Senate by Brownback and fellow Republicans Richard Shelby (AL) and Richard Burr (NC), the CRA would singlehandedly turn the United States into a theocracy by allowing government and its representatives to promote religion with impunity.

Sounds too far-fetched to be true, doesn’t it…..well, see for yourself. Here’s the relevant text of the bill:

The Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

The law adds new sections to Chapters 81 and 85 of Article 28 of the U.S. Code, which concern federal and Supreme Court jurisdiction over certain kinds of cases. This portion of federal law takes its cue from Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that the Congress can regulate, and make exceptions to, the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction – i.e. its status as the court of last resort.

Now, one would think this bill would violate a little thing called the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; […]

This is a nice little bit of legal jiggery-pokery. Rather than actually establishing a government religion, the proposed law says the Supreme Court cannot declare illegal acts of religious establishment by local, state or federal government, or by representatives or agencies of government. So the United States may not make a law that says Christ Is Our Savior; but if federal officials put giant neon nativity scenes or “Christ is our Lord” posters, or Ten Commandments plaques, up in the lobbies of every government office, the federal judges can’t do anything to stop them. In fact, if the CRA becomes law, if judges try to stop that, they can be impeached.

It’s disturbing —Even if you ignore the fact that the CRA amends existing judicial review laws in a way never intended by the Founding Fathers; or that it does irreparable injury to separation of powers; or that it aims to allow precisely the kind of endorsement of religion by government against which this country was founded….even if you ignore all of those, the most frightening thing is the fact that the CRA explicitly prevents citizens from availing themselves of the judiciary – the one mechanism they have to protect them from tyranny of the majority. This is precisely the sort of quiet barring of options that characterizes the legislative agenda of every fascist state, and should scare anyone.

Kansans should contact Brownback and express their distaste over this Fundamentalist strong-arming. He’s at least supposed to listen to his constituents, after all. Every one else reading this should contact their representatives and tell them to vote against the CRA. It has come up once before, and was voted down….but the Congress is much more right-wing now, and Richard Shelby claims that he’s got the votes to pass it.

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