In a time when a clearcutting proposal is named the “Healthy Forests Initiative” and the “Clean Air Act” allows for more rather than less air pollution, “Constitution Restoration Act” is a worrisome moniker. Little surprise that it seeks to circumvent that central premise of the Constitution.
If its backers get their way, Americans will no longer receive the same protections that Washington has carefully insisted that Iraqis have. The Constitution Restoration Act was introduced Feb. 11 in the House by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R‑Ala.), co-sponsored primarily by Alabama Republicans. It was introduced in the Senate by Richard Shelby (R‑Ala.), co-sponsored by, among others, Zell Miller (D‑Ga.). The act was drafted by Herb Titus, the legal counsel for Alabama’s controversial judge Roy Moore, who was recently removed from office for his refusal to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a courthouse. The act calls for exemption from Supreme Court jurisdiction of all cases in which public servants, including judges, “acknowledge” God as “the source” of law. The restricting of Supreme Court jurisdiction is a strange maneuver, but one which the hazy language of the relevant part of the Constitution may allow. The Act would disallow the Supreme Court from referencing any source other than the Constitution or English common law in its decisions. It would retroactively exempt from Supreme Court jurisdiction cases such as Roy Moore’s. A judge who attempted to rule in such cases could be impeached. It is unclear exactly what actions a public servant could get away with under the banner of invoking God as the source of law.