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109th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 520

To limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 3, 2005
Mr. SHELBY (for himself, Mr. BROWNBACK, and Mr. BURR) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A BILL
To limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Constitution Restoration Act of 2005'.

TITLE I--JURISDICTION

SEC. 101. APPELLATE JURISDICTION.

(a) Amendment to Title 28- Chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 1260. Matters not reviewable

`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.

(b) Table of Sections- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`1260. Matters not reviewable.'.

SEC. 102. LIMITATIONS ON JURISDICTION.

(a) Amendment to Title 28- Chapter 85 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of the following:

`Sec. 1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review

`Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the district courts shall not have jurisdiction of a matter if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to review that matter by reason of section 1260 of this title.'.

(b) Table of Sections- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 85 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review.'.

TITLE II--INTERPRETATION

SEC. 201. INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.

In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

TITLE III--ENFORCEMENT

SEC. 301. EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL CASES NOT BINDING ON STATES.

Any decision of a Federal court which has been made prior to, on, or after the effective date of this Act, to the extent that the decision relates to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction under section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, is not binding precedent on any State court.

SEC. 302. IMPEACHMENT, CONVICTION, AND REMOVAL OF JUDGES FOR CERTAIN EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL ACTIVITIES.

To the extent that a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States or any judge of any Federal court engages in any activity that exceeds the jurisdiction of the court of that justice or judge, as the case may be, by reason of section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, engaging in that activity shall be deemed to constitute the commission of--

(1) an offense for which the judge may be removed upon impeachment and conviction; and

(2) a breach of the standard of good behavior required by article III, section 1 of the Constitution.
END

************************
That is perhaps one of the most frightening things I've yet seen come out of this administration. And that's saying alot.
Really read that - it says that the courts would have no jurisdiction over cases where one of the parties says that "god [is] the sovereign source of law". So much for cases that decide the separation of church and state. Hell, so much for separation of church and state!

And there's that other little cookie in there - the US shouldn't look to the standards of laws in other countries (like when the Supreme Court cited other countries' laws when deciding against executing minors). Because the US is a law unto itself, durnit!

I doubt this has much hope of passing - it was sponsored by 5 Senators on the one hand, and 25 Reps on the other. But Christ! It's certainly something to keep an eye on. And regardless, it's just ... icky.

If this administration had been in power, civil rights and desegregation would have been called "judicial activism". Hell, I'm not up on my civil rights history - maybe it was called that at the time. I know it certainly wasn't the popular thing to do at the time and alot of people fought it.

Date: 2005-04-06 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eowynmn.livejournal.com
If there were an anti christ, bush would be it.

Because you know if you read the bible, the antichrist will come and be such a *power of god* and act like he is religious and upright, and very *christian* while still perfomring the workings of the devil...ya know?

Very evil people working in our government these days.

don't forget this little a-bomb

Date: 2005-04-06 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
Any decision of a Federal court which has been made prior to, on, or after the effective date of this Act, to the extent that the decision relates to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction under section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, is not binding precedent on any State court.


Sounds like the very fucking definition of an "ex post facto law", which is, naturally, totally unconstitutional!

Date: 2005-04-06 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luno.livejournal.com
Regardless of the ex post facto, this is unconstitutional prima facie: It interferes with the right of a citizen to petition the government for redress of greivance. See my snarling in [livejournal.com profile] ashamedamerican.

Date: 2005-04-06 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
I know it certainly wasn't the popular thing to do at the time and a lot of people fought it.

Yes. Most of them being Democrats, including the present "conscience of the Senate," ex-Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV). I will point out to you that the Voting Rights Act of 1964 passed only because the vast majority of Republican Senators voted for it, and that the President who sent Federal troops into the Southern states to enforce integration was Eisenhower - a Republican. Eisenhower also federalized the Arkansas National Guard to prevent its governor, Orval Faubus, from using it to obstruct integration. Trying to paint the GOP as a party of racists seriously distorts the actual record, and as a Hispanic I find it personally insulting.

In point of fact, this sort of limitation of the courts' authority is part and parcel of the Constitution: Congress is explicitly authorized to create Federal courts (Article I, section 8, clause 9) and set limits on what the courts have jurisdiction over (Article IV, section 2, clause 2). This bill is basically an amplification of Article VI, clause 3, which prohibits religious tests as a requirement for holding public office -a reference to the Test Act in England, which barred non-Anglicans from government office and the Throne.

The claim that the bill somehow violates the "separation of church and state" is bogus, since the First Amendment's prohibition of an "establishment of religion" speaks only to the designation of one church as the official church of the US and its support with tax dollars, as was then the practice in England and in several of the states. Of course, the Court has interpreted that differently in recent years, but they also once memorably insisted that Dred Scott was property and that Mormonism was no different from African and Asian paganism in its savagery.

While we're at it - considering the recent election in Zimbabwe and the ongoing electoral hijinks in Lebanon, to say nothing of the clampdown on free speech in Canada, remind me again why we should be paying attention to the opinions of foreigners in contruing our laws?

Date: 2005-04-06 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
Dammit, I forgot to use preview. Sorry about that.

Date: 2005-04-06 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] windelina.livejournal.com
Saying "Democrats" or "Republicans" in a historical setting is mostly useless. There's no denying that had I been born in a different time period, I would likely be a "republican".

I'm talking about this administration, whatever label they are currently using. This administration is NOT conservative, is NOT historically republican. This administration is, mostly, opportunistic.

We've done alot of stupid things in the history of our country, there's no denying that. And whatever the original writers of the Constitution may have actually intended themselves, they set up the Constitution to be a document that would change as America changed - one of their more brilliant ideas - and one of the things that's been refined is the idea of church and state being separate. And as someone not christian, it's something I believe rather strongly in.

As for Zimbabwe and Lebanon, you're missing the point. I believe that it is entirely appropriate for us to look to Peer Countries (first world, industrialized, etc.) for legal standards. This does not negate our taking a stand should we choose to, but I don't think there's anything wrong with saying "the rest of the modern world thinks X is bad and so do we."

Most of your comment has nothing to do with the actual proposition above. You have one paragraph saying that Congress has the right to do this. But you don't really say...do you think it's a good idea to remove jurisdiction in cases where one party says "God is the law"?

(And by the way, this is not written in the "heat of the moment". I'm not trying to be aggressive or confrontational. The trouble with online discourse is you can't always tell. So I'm telling you. I'm still conversational.)

Date: 2005-04-06 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
Saying "Democrats" or "Republicans" in a historical setting is mostly useless. There's no denying that had I been born in a different time period, I would likely be a "republican".
I'm talking about this administration, whatever label they are currently using. This administration is NOT conservative, is NOT historically republican. This administration is, mostly, opportunistic.


Well, that's certainly your view of it. It may also be possible that W's foreign policies are motivated by a more Wilsonian attitude than you're used to seeing from Republicans, who have on a day-to-day level been more wedded to realpolitik than idealism. As for the racism business, maybe I'm overly sensitive to it, but I'm sick and tired of hearing the race card played by white people and only slightly less tired of hearing it from black and Mexican-American politicians. It's a distortion of history at best and dishonest BS at worst, and my knee tends to jerk when I see it.

We've done alot of stupid things in the history of our country, there's no denying that. And whatever the original writers of the Constitution may have actually intended themselves, they set up the Constitution to be a document that would change as America changed - one of their more brilliant ideas - and one of the things that's been refined is the idea of church and state being separate. And as someone not christian, it's something I believe rather strongly in.
That separation thing is purely a product of creative reading by the judiciary, though. It has nothing to do with the amendment process, which was deliberately made difficult and painful so that changes would be made only if there was a broad consensus that something needed to be changed.

As for Zimbabwe and Lebanon, you're missing the point. I believe that it is entirely appropriate for us to look to Peer Countries (first world, industrialized, etc.) for legal standards. This does not negate our taking a stand should we choose to, but I don't think there's anything wrong with saying "the rest of the modern world thinks X is bad and so do we."
Sure there is. The rest of the First World tends to be made up of parliamentary democracies which don't have our ethnic and religious diversity. Let's turn this around for a minute. England, France and Germany all have established churches, supported by tax revenues. Should we, too, establish an American church? Spain and Italy have publicly supported parochial schools, as does Japan. Canada bans pornography and has sued ministers over the content of their sermons. Besides, there's no guarantee some future court won't look to Zimbabwe or Singapore for legal precedent, and no matter how much I think flogging might be a good idea in the abstract, I think the principle is a really bad idea with lots of potential for abuse.

Most of your comment has nothing to do with the actual proposition above. You have one paragraph saying that Congress has the right to do this. But you don't really say...do you think it's a good idea to remove jurisdiction in cases where one party says "God is the law"?
IIRC, this bill is a response to the judge who threw out a lower court's conviction of a suspect because the jury consulted the Bible for guidance, not the Schiavo mess. Do I think it's a good idea? Yeah, actually. There's a lot of people hacked off at the judiciary, and a consensus within the GOP that federal judges in general need to be reminded that historically the courts have deferred to the legislature unless there's a clear breach of the Constitution.

(And by the way, this is not written in the "heat of the moment". I'm not trying to be aggressive or confrontational. The trouble with online discourse is you can't always tell. So I'm telling you. I'm still conversational.)
Oh, I understand that. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as unrelievedly angry & combative; I know when you respond to me you're generally trying to figure out what's going on in my head that got me to where I am.

Date: 2005-04-06 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
This is not an establishment of religion, but it permits executive agencies to act in ways which are functionally the same as establishment. This one's quacking like a duck even if it looks like a cat...

Your interpretation narrows the scope of the antiestablishment clause too far. I tend to agree with James Madison on the subject (here's an older, but still true article in Mother Jones that quotes him). It seems to me that since he actually wrote the dang thing, he might have a sense of the direction the Constitution was going on this subject.

So I take to heart when he said "The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded against by an entire abstinence of the government in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others." One can hardly remain "entirely absent" by permitting appeals to God to trump court rulings. No, entirely is such a strong word that it cuts both ways--government stay out, church stay out; back off both of youse!

Your own self-professed knee jerking clouds your arguments. Why do my conservative friends always mention Robert Byrd as if a) nothing ever changes and b) he's still running around wearing the sheets? You said ex-klansman, right? Was that a necessary detail to make your point? Insofar as it was sensational, I suppose it served.

While you're talking about 1964, however, let's not forget that LBJ (you know, the democrat who was president at the time) said "We've lost the South for a generation" when he signed that bill. Not to mention it was way back in 1948 when Hubert Humphrey gave an anti-segregation speech that Strom Thurmond (who died a Republican) left the party to form the Dixiecrats. There's your street level realpolitik. Those dems all became FORMER dems and voted for Nixon in vast numbers in 1968 & 1972. Nixon's "Southern Strategy" laid the map for continued GOP victories and it capitalized on the racial divide in a way (solid history on it at Wiki's southern strategy entry) that no Democrat had done in decades. I feel it's disingenuous to cry "distortion" when the facts show that the GOP doesn't stand with the racists, but it sure benefits from their votes. Either the racists think they'll get the best deal when Republicans are in power or they're already getting it. Neither one stirs up joy in one's heart.

It's hardly "playing" the "race card" when it's demonstrably true that policies like "No Child Left Behind"--promoted and signed by the current President-- disproportionately impacts urban Blacks and Hispanics by gutting the schools attended by millions of their children. It works by forcing teachers not to actually teach kids material, but to teach to the tests, at the risk of funding loss.

Date: 2005-04-07 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
This is not an establishment of religion, but it permits executive agencies to act in ways which are functionally the same as establishment. This one's quacking like a duck even if it looks like a cat...
Your interpretation narrows the scope of the antiestablishment clause too far...... "The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded against by an entire abstinence of the government in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others." One can hardly remain "entirely absent" by permitting appeals to God to trump court rulings. No, entirely is such a strong word that it cuts both ways--government stay out, church stay out; back off both of youse!

It seems pretty clear from the context of his other statements on the subject that he was referring to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in the same way that I am - separating the church - any church - from support by the state and an active role in the state, such as the various C of E bishops have in the English House of Lords.

Your own self-professed knee jerking clouds your arguments. Why do my conservative friends always mention Robert Byrd as if a) nothing ever changes and b) he's still running around wearing the sheets? You said ex-klansman, right? Was that a necessary detail to make your point? Insofar as it was sensational, I suppose it served.
For the same reason my liberal friends (Windy being an exception) always bring up David Duke.

While you're talking about 1964, however, let's not forget that LBJ (you know, the democrat who was president at the time) said "We've lost the South for a generation" when he signed that bill. Not to mention it was way back in 1948 when Hubert Humphrey gave an anti-segregation speech that Strom Thurmond (who died a Republican) left the party to form the Dixiecrats. There's your street level realpolitik. Those dems all became FORMER dems and voted for Nixon in vast numbers in 1968 & 1972. Nixon's "Southern Strategy" laid the map for continued GOP victories and it capitalized on the racial divide in a way (solid history on it at Wiki's southern strategy entry) that no Democrat had done in decades.
If that's what's on the Wikipedia article, then it's ahistorical crap. Southern whites voted for George Wallace in 1968, not Nixon, and the main issues in that election were the Vietnam War and the maintenance of public order. Don't take my word for it (even though I was there), follow the links. As for 1972, McGovern lost that campaign by taking the Democratic party too far to the left for the voters in 49 states to stomach. Race was not an issue, the Vietnam War was. To maintain, as some revisionist historians have, that the GOP actively sought the votes of racist white Southerners is to make the same mistake some folks on the Right do when they accuse the DFL of pandering to Communists and Socialists.

Continued in next post...

Race, history, and NCLB

Date: 2005-04-07 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
I feel it's disingenuous to cry "distortion" when the facts show that the GOP doesn't stand with the racists, but it sure benefits from their votes. Either the racists think they'll get the best deal when Republicans are in power or they're already getting it. Neither one stirs up joy in one's heart.

Facts? What facts? What you've passed to me from Wikipedia is a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacking thirty years after the event that has nothing to do with what actually happened and everything to do with rewriting history so that it makes you feel better. Strom Thurmond and other Southern Democrats knew segregation was dead after 1964 and changed to the GOP for other reasons - otherwise, what would have stopped Byrd from joining his former Dixiecrat in the GOP?

It's hardly "playing" the "race card" when it's demonstrably true that policies like "No Child Left Behind"--promoted and signed by the current President-- disproportionately impacts urban Blacks and Hispanics by gutting the schools attended by millions of their children. It works by forcing teachers not to actually teach kids material, but to teach to the tests, at the risk of funding loss.
That's a complete distortion of what NCLB actually calls for, and having had to sit through 2+ years of education classes as I work on my teaching certification (in night school) I think I know what it does and doesn't cover. The main reason black and Hispanic kids in the inner cities don't get decent educations is because the school boards in those cities answer primarily to the teachers' unions and other power blocs in the DFL, not to the parents whose kids are allegedly their primary concern. NCLB forces some accountability into the system by giving parents who care about their kids the chance to get their kids out of schools that don't work and into schools that do. Yes, some teachers teach to the tests. Whenever you have standardized tests you're going to get that. It beats the heck out of teachers who teach whatever odd corner of language arts or history happen to catch their fancy, though. And that happens a lot.

Re: Race, history, and NCLB

Date: 2005-04-07 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
Facts? What facts? What you've passed to me from Wikipedia is a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacking thirty years after the event that has nothing to do with what actually happened and everything to do with rewriting history so that it makes you feel better.

Well, honestly. Do you think bickering like this is going to make me feel better? And the only living racists in 1968 were the 9 million Wallace voters? Byrd's politics and attitudes have clearly changed. I did not get the impression Strom Thurmond's attitudes on race did, for example.

And heck, I didn't take you're word for it (I note that throughout history, numerous people were there and were still mistaken). I followed the links, and for heaven's sake your Answers.com link quotes the same wiki entry you're accusing of being revisionist. Would you like a napkin or a bib or something? Since you're obviously committed to having your cake and eating it, I don't want your poor keyboard to suffer all those crumbs. ;-)

What then do you mean? Are we thus to accept that states' rights were some fundamentally new idea, utterly distinct from segregation? States' rights simply elides the segregation issue. It's the same freaking issue in sheep's clothing: states having rights, uh, particularly rights to segregate. This is hardly proof that Thurmond and others "recognized it was dead." I appreciate your long life, but I'm not going to be written off simply because "I wasn't there, man." Else no one can argue anything because multiple versions of historical records exist and we must thus appeal to people who were present?

Were you also omni while you were present? That seems fatuous. I don't mean to be ad hominem, seriously, that just seems fatuous. (Jane Fonda is on Letterman as I write this. What a coincidence and timely example. I listen to her anguish about her actions during Vietnam. Think about that. All sorts of people were "there" and "then." She did do work on behalf of troops, you know. But the compassion and work she did for soldiers was totally shot to hell-- both by her willful and wrong(!) participation in N. Vietnam propaganda, and also by the continued efforts of people to mine political capital from images of her, despite any effort to atone/apologize or her public statements that she will regret it to her grave. People on both sides were there, but the truths are still coming to light. I don't completely defend her, but I can't write off her mea culpa so easily. It's hard to bar my heart to forgiveness.)

That's a complete distortion of what NCLB actually calls for, and having had to sit through 2+ years of education classes as I work on my teaching certification (in night school) I think I know what it does and doesn't cover.

Well and good except I talk to teachers on the ground doing teaching, of all political persuasions, recently and regularly. They're hamstrung as the schools find themselves forced to comply with these "accountability standards." They simply don't have time to teach! I've heard incredibly hard working accomplished and dedicated teachers who simply don't have enough hours in the day, in the week and in the school year to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. They can't grade, they can't accomplish the necessary curricula while maintaining order in the classrooms and supporting the absolutely essential work of inspiring continued learning. It's like that old "good-fast-cheap, pick two" conundrum. Under NCLB, they're facing "teach to the tests-maintain discipline-lifelong learning. pick one and a half." Then the state declares them failures. Bam.

I can appreciate your hard work on certification, but you are simply mistaken about how this goes for a darn wide swath of teachers in the classroom. These are not exceptions or straw men, they're teachers here and now.

I have no response to what I consider a red herring and union bashing except to ask you not to (AFSCME Council 14! Workers unite, baby!)

I don't mind continuing this in public at all. It's very stimulating. But as this gets longer and more involved, if you prefer to take this offline, feel free to email me burnunit at waste dot org.

Re: Race, history, and NCLB

Date: 2005-04-08 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
Okay, using "you" in that sentence instead of "one" was clearly a bad idea, since it does seem to have given the impression that I was getting personal, and I regret that, because it wasn't what I was trying to do.

The point I was trying to make about the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections was that there was more going on there than the simple reductionist argument about racist Southern white Democrats suddenly changing parties and voting for Nixon would have you believe. Yes, there was a link back to the Wikipedia article, since your argument seems to have become the conventional wisdom, but it doesn't invalidate my main point, which is that both elections were primarily about the Vietnam War and domestic law & order questions. Good luck finding anything in Nixon's record or campaign speeches to indicate that he supported segregation; you won't find it.

As for states' rights, yeah, they've unfortunately become confused with segregation, but there are powers reserved to the states under the Constitution, and is it wrong to be concerned about the Federal government encroaching on those? I'm not trying to defend segregation, mind you. I'm just objecting to it being equated with the term states' rights.

Fonda's a non sequitur, unless you're trying to tell me Byrd has made public apologies for the racist spew he's on the record as having said and written in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. I acknowledge that Fonda probably did do some good to some troops during the war, but the harm she did to the POWs in North Vietnam is a matter of public record as well. How do you balance the one against the other? I don't know.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but sympathy for the teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul who are trying to teach without the authority to enforce meaningful discipline. It's damn near impossible, especially when the most experienced teachers can duck out to the quieter schools and leave the rookies to take on the tough situations. I lived in Minneapolis the first 20 years that I was here and grew all too familiar with the MPS system. The fact is that the administration works for a school board that's basically elected at the DFL primary, and Education Minnesota (formerly the AFT in Mpls) calls the shots. You won't find too many candidates they don't endorse making it through the primary. Most of the people in my certification classes are substitutes or teachers from other states, so I have a pretty good idea what goes on in a wide spectrum of the public schools. Based on what I hear from my classmates and what I saw in Minneapolis while my kids were in MPS schools, the best thing they could do with those schools is close them down in accordance with NCLB and start all over from ground zero, because as things are now, those schools don't work.

madison

Date: 2005-04-07 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
OH I almost forgot. I'm aware of the context of the Madison quote. My focus remains on the word "entirely." I maintain that the word goes both ways, religion free from the state, the state free from religion. I consider myself very religious and I want the gov't the hell out of my church. But I find I also want theologies that are antithetical to mine (I get worked up about "heresy" sometimes) the hell out of my government. To get that blissful vision, the shortest distance would be separation that is entire.

grammar

Date: 2005-04-07 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
oh and I mightily abused "your/you're" in that earlier post. my fingers are typing too fast for my editing. grr. how embarrassing.

Re: grammar

Date: 2005-04-07 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] windelina.livejournal.com
To both [livejournal.com profile] burnunit and [livejournal.com profile] wombat_socho:
I find this fascinating. I'm learning alot and getting alot to chew on.
As long as it doesn't turn ugly, feel free to leave it on my journal.
I'm not bothered at all.

Re: grammar

Date: 2005-04-07 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnunit.livejournal.com
yeah, I'm cool. I always find it stimulating. and I think I can keep my wits about me.

Re: grammar

Date: 2005-04-08 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
I think we respect each other enough to keep this from getting ugly. ^__^

Re: madison

Date: 2005-04-08 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat-socho.livejournal.com
That would probably be the easiest thing to do, but it doesn't match up well with people's attempts to live their lives according to their faiths. To take one example, if there are laws that require children to be in school until they're 18, why do we allow Amish to be an exception to that law and pull their kids out at 14? Why do we allow Christian Scientists to not have their children vaccinated before attending public school? Why do we allow tax exemptions for religious groups? I don't think it's possible to make the line between church and state as clear and distinct as a lot of people seem to want it.

Date: 2005-04-06 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vanaabegra.livejournal.com
Um, when I first read this I had to check the date to see if it was an April 1st post...

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