Congress is back and they have introduced a new set of hateful and idiotic GOP legislation frequently proposed by our own F. Jim Sensenbrenner. This guy and the rest of the GOP just have to GO! I am sick and tired of the idiocy of the GOP. Can you believe the spite they have for the Bill of Rights???
I usually try to make logical points when I blog on legislation and I will below, but read this stuff!!! What are they thinking??? I'll be posting on another idiotic (I just can't think of another word for this that's postable) piece of do nothing legislation from these guys next. No wonder they only have a 25% approval rating!
You know I watched the House for about an hour last night on CSPAN (okay I know I'm a true political geek) and was astounded by the uneducated level of each and every Republican who came up to speak. One guy from Texas ranted for 10 minutes on anti-immigration stuff that was absolutely insane blather!!!
Then the House CBC got up and begged and pleaded for someone to take Darfur seriously and stop the genocide. The stories are horrendous and we as a people (I include myself for realizing last night that I've never blogged on it once...) MUST stand up and say this is a top priority so that the President and the rest of Congress DO something to stop the slaughter. As I watched, not one GOP member got up to speak out for humanity...so much for "never again".
Our own Gwen Moore was eloquent. I really do enjoy her on the House floor! She needs to do that more often.
Anyway, here's the first piece of inane legislation put forth by the GOP. I think I like the entire idea of Congress better when they are NOT in session these days.
"Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA)" (S. 3696 / H.R. 2679)
Here's a nasty new idea, being advanced by the American Legion and a group of far-right religious groups. This legislation would bar damages and awards of attorney's fees to prevailing parties in Establishment Clause cases. It would, for the first time ever, single out one area protected by the First Amendment and prevent its full enforcement. The only remedy available to plaintiffs bringing Establishment Clause lawsuits would be injunctive relief. This prohibition would apply to all Establishment Clause cases, including those involving illegal religious coercion of public school students or blatant discrimination against particular religions.
Needless to say, if passed this legislation would throw a big wrench into the legal work of many affiliates. Worse, it would close the courthouse doors to individuals seeking to vindicate their rights. The American Legion is using this proposal as a vehicle to specifically attack the ACLU -- you may have seen letters from Legion members to this effect in some of your local papers. The Legion has been particularly obnoxious in asserting that this legislation is needed to prevent the ACLU from suing to remove religous symbols from personal gravestones of deceased soldiers. This is all B.S.
You can download a fact sheet refuting these allegations from our website:
The Public Expression of Religion Act is not an idle threat. PERA passed out of the House Judiciary Committee last week, and could go to a floor vote this week. We expect it to pass in the House. We are lobbying hard to block it in the Senate, and believe that we can kill the legislation there.
The ACLU letter to the Senate opposing PERA is available at: