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CONSTITUTION RESTORATION ACT OF 2004

SHESS

NOV 26.2004

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET,

AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

ON

H.R. 3799

SEPTEMBER 13, 2004

Serial No. 105

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON : 2004

95-803 PDF

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512–1800; DC area (202) 512–1800

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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., Wisconsin, Chairman HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois

JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California LAMAR SMITH, Texas

RICK BOUCHER, Virginia ELTON GALLEGLY, California

JERROLD NADLER, New York BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia

ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia STEVE CHABOT, Ohio

MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee

ZOE LOFGREN, California CHRIS CANNON, Utah

SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama

MAXINE WATERS, California JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana

MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts MARK GREEN, Wisconsin

WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts RIC KELLER, Florida

ROBERT WEXLER, Florida MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania

TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin JEFF FLAKE, Arizona

ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York MIKE PENCE, Indiana

ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia

LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California
STEVE KING, Iowa
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
TOM FEENEY, Florida
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee

PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel

SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET, AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman HENRY J. HYDE, Ilinois

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California ELTON GALLEGLY, California

JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia

RICK BOUCHER, Virginia WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee

ZOE LOFGREN, California SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama

MAXINE WATERS, California MARK GREEN, Wisconsin

MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts RIC KELLER, Florida

WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania

ROBERT WEXLER, Florida MIKE PENCE, Indiana

TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia

ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas

BLAINE MERRITT, Chief Counsel
DAVID WHITNEY, Counsel

JOE KEELEY, Counsel
ALEC FRENCH, Minority Counsel

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CONSTITUTION RESTORATION ACT OF 2004

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2004

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET,

AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

Washington, DC. The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 4:40 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith (Chair of the Subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. SMITH. This Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will come to order. Today's hearing is on H.R. 3799, the “Constitution Restoration Act of 2004.” I am going to recognize myself for an opening statement, then the Ranking Minority Member, Mr. Berman, and then proceed to introduce the witnesses. Without objection, all Members will be able to submit their opening statements for the record. And also without objection we will include the entire testimony of all witnesses today since, as they know, we are limited to 5 minutes for each of their testimonies.

Today's hearing addresses an important subject matter, the right of Congress to prevent the Supreme Court and the lower Federal courts from reviewing a specialized category of cases that touches upon religious faith. The legislation before us that facilitates this also imposes a tough penalty, impeachment on any Federal judge who ignores Congress's directive. The bill addresses tangential but related issues as well, including the obligation of State courts to observe Federal precedence and the ability of Federal judges to use foreign legal services

excuse me, foreign legal sources when interpreting the Constitution.

H.R. 3799 is the latest in a series of legislative and oversight responses to questionable, or at least controversial Federal court decisions. For the most part, I subscribe to the notion that the American justice system is the envy of the world. But it is far from perfect, as the behavior of unprincipled trial lawyers and activist judges attest. Religious faith and practice are part of the American culture. Many of our ancestors fled to the colonies that became this country to avoid religious persecution. Hundreds of years later, our respective faiths inform and influence our behavior as individuals and as a Nation.

I firmly believe that Americans are the most prosperous and caring people in world history, largely because we are a religious people. But our status as the leader of the free and civilized world is also based on our commitment to the rule of law. All are bound by it from presidents to truck drivers to judges to waitresses. We can

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