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June 29, 2005

Congress defends Ten Commandments

From the Washington Times:

The fight over the Ten Commandments after Monday's two Supreme Court decisions now moves to Congress, where Republicans say they might have to legislate a solution to help clear up confusion from the rulings.

"I don't see how if you have one document in two district cases, that the display of that very same document can in one instance be unconstitutional and in another instance constitutional," said Rep. John Hostettler, Indiana Republican.

Mr. Hostettler already has the most likely avenue for congressional action on the rulings. Two weeks ago, he won passage of an amendment to a House spending bill that would prevent U.S. marshals from carrying out a court order to remove a Ten Commandments display from the Gibson County Courthouse in Indiana....

The amendment prohibits any funds from being spent to remove the display -- an exercise of Congress' power of the purse. The Senate's version of the spending bill does not include similar language, but House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said the Senate will have to deal with Mr. Hostettler's amendment at some point.

"I would hope that the Senate will take it up and deal with these issues. If they're not, it's in the bill, and we'll deal with it in conference when we get there," he said. "But if the Congress has an amendment that says no such funds will be used to enforce it, then the Congress has spoken, and hopefully, people will understand that."

Mr. DeLay said House Republicans aren't afraid to use that type of legislation to address what he called "incredibly confusing" decisions in the past 20 years on the Ten Commandments and the role of religion.

"To base decisions on religion upon a letter written by Thomas Jefferson and having no relevance to the Constitution of the United States gets you into this mess," he said, referring to an 1802 letter in which Jefferson coined the metaphor "a wall of separation between church and state."

Elsewhere in Congress, Rep. Ernest Istook, Oklahoma Republican, said he is going ahead with plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow the posting the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance with a reference to God and would permit, but not mandate, school prayer.

Unfortunately the government has twisted from what the Founding Father's envisioned -- a balance of powers -- to an all powerful Supreme Court. Even cases of obvious abuse of judicial power, Congress is hamstrung when trying to protect the American people from the Supreme Court.

Related coverage: Stones Cry Out, Outside the Beltwat, WizBang

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 29, 2005 07:40 AM

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