Mr. Stripper Is in Trouble (the court stripper that is)
Joan Bokaer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 05:47:53 AM EST
U.S. Representative John Hostettler (R-IN) is a busy man. He has made an impressive career of authoring bills in the U.S. House of Representatives, then getting them out of committee and to the floor for a vote, and finally winning their passage along party lines. His series of bills over the past three years are nothing less than an attempt to defang one whole branch of the federal government - an independent judiciary. His method is called "court stripping."

Rep. Hostettler's most recent bill passed yesterday along party lines. H.R. 2679 is euphemistically called the "Public Expression of Religion Act" and more accurately referred to as the "Christian Supremacy Act."  This bill is consistent with Hostettler's philosophy:

"When the courts make unconstitutional decisions, we should not enforce them. Federal courts have no army or navy. The court can opine, decide, talk about, sing, whatever it wants to do. We're not saying they can't do that. At the end of the day, we're saying the court can't enforce its opinions."

In a nutshell, if the bill interferes with the march of the holy warriors, they won't fund it.
The "Public Expression of Religion Act" is aimed at stopping citizens from challenging in court government-sponsored religious activities. If a plaintiff wins a court challenge based on the principle of church-state separation, they can't recoup court fees.

This bill has special relevance to challenges in the courts today. JewsOnFirst has been reporting on cases where Jewish or atheist school children are coerced and harassed in school because they are not Christian. On July 23 Talk To Action joined with Jews on First and CrossLeft to send a message of religious tolerance to the board of the Indian River School District in Delaware.

Hostettler authored two other court-stripping bills that passed the House. Do you remember that two-and-a-half ton monster monument of the Ten Commandments sitting right in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court? The lower courts ordered it removed. Those court decisions were challenged until the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supported the lower courts and the monument had to be removed. Along comes Representative Hostettler with a bill saying you can't remove it with our money.

On July 23, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by a vote of 260-161 an amendment to an appropriations bill that bars the use of federal funds to enforce the decision that ordered the removal of a two-ton Ten Commandments monument from the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama. The vote was primarily along party lines. (The monument was removed, but I don't know who paid the movers.)

One year later, almost to the day, July 23, 2004, Hostettler drafted the Marriage Protection Act. It was adopted in the U.S. House of Representatives 233 to 194, again primarily along party lines. The bill would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law passed in 1996 that purports to leave the recognition of same-sex marriage entirely to each state. In otherwords, one part of our population, gays and lesbians, would be denied access to the courts on the gay marriage issue.

Here comes the good news - for those of you who bother reading articles to the end. Mr. Stripper is in trouble. The polls show his opponent for his seat in November is leading him by double digits.




Display:
Rep. Hostettler was holding a 12% lead, but the New York Times wrote yesterday that, according to the latest polls, his opponent, Brad Ellsworth had made recent gains and now holds a double digit lead.

by Joan Bokaer on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 07:37:54 AM EST

Hostettler's little theocratic rampage may be nearing an end. Let's hope.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 10:42:56 AM EST

that Ellsworth has a shot at unseating him.

As for Hoestetttler's court stripping bill aimed at Roy's Rock, it would have had to pass the Senate and be signed by the president. I don't  believe it got that far.

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 11:39:51 AM EST

Could use a "legislator's hall of shame" for the likes of Rep. Hostettler.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 01:43:54 PM EST
Parent
I'd settle for him to be in the L column in November.

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 03:41:28 PM EST
Parent




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