Okrzyki, przyjaciel! (chaircrusher) wrote,
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!

HR 3313

I get E-mail alerts from various left wing groups about legislation under consideration, and today I got e-mail about a real doozy: HR3313, an amendment to the 'Protection of Marriage Act.'

HR 3313 EH
2d Session
H. R. 3313


To amend title 28, United States Code, to limit Federal court jurisdiction over questions under the Defense of Marriage Act.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Act of 2004'.
(a) In General- Chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 1632. Limitation on jurisdiction
`No court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, section 1738C or this section.'.
(b) Amendments to the Table of Sections- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
`1632. Limitation on jurisdiction.'.
Passed the House of Representatives July 22, 2004.

What it really does is to try and prevent the federal courts from ever considering the constitutionality of the original Defense of Marriage act. This is a really devious end-around by right-wing Republicans to try and, err, defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

What it means is that there can be no country-wide challenge to the original Defense of Marriage act. As stated in this Wicki the act is on shakey ground w.r.t. to constitutionality. 3313 seeks to block the Federal Courts at any level from ruling on the DOMA's constitutionality.

I think that 3313 itself is on VERY shakey Constitutional ground itself. Isn't it an abuse of the separation of powers for Congress to restrict the jurisdiction of the Judiciary? Shouldn't the Judiciary Branch consider any and all challenges to Federal law, a priori, except where they have no jurisdiction as determined by the Constitution?

This was approved in the House of Representatives today. Our Rep, Jim Leach voted against it. Good on him, though Leach, a Republican in a heavily Democratic district, has a long history of voting his 'conscience' on lost causes, but voting with the party when it actually matters.

This is the guy that introduced the bill, John Hostettler of Indiana (on the left).

I encourage you all to write him and tell him he's a fucking muppet.

EDIT: On this page Hostettler himself rebuts my argument. He argues that Congress is given express authority to limit the juridiction of the Judiciary branch. Even if this is so, I think 3313 fundamentally abuses this authority. I'd love to hear from someone who knows more about the Constitution on this count, but I don't think the Constitution meant that Congress can pass any old retarded law they want, and then turn around and prohibit the Judiciary from ruling on its constitutionality.

And I still think he's a fucking muppet.
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