Saturday, September 25, 2004

Not That Simple?

It has been brought to my attention that my explanation of the unconstitutionality of the Pledge Protection Act was oversimplified, so I'll remedy that in brief. Here's the wording of the act:
`No court established by Act of Congress shall have jurisdiction to hear or determine any claim that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, as set forth in section 4 of title 4, violates the first article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States.'
Here's the wording of Sec. 1 Art. 3 of the Constitution of the United States of America :
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
According to the website of Rep. Todd Aikin (R Missouri) the Congress derives its power to regulate the jurisdiction of inferior courts from this article. Here's the problem:
It simply doesn't say that. It says that the Congress can "ordain and establish" them. The part of the US Code which the bill amends deals with instances in which jurisdiction is in question, and, well, that has nothing to do with this. According to Aikin's website this also only affects lower courts, however, the Supreme Court could be interpereted as having been established by "Act of Congress" since the Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Congress. Additionally, since the Supreme Court is the highest level of appeals court, how are these cases supposed to arrive in their inboxes? Simple, if Aikin has his way, they won't. So, I'm saying to the Gentleman from Missouri, start writing your constitutional amendment because that's the only way this will ever be legitimate.


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