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Talent joins locals for pro-Pledge rally

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Talent joins locals for pro-Pledge rally




By Chuck Orman

The Sedalia Democrat


Sedalia veterans, Boy Scouts and officials joined U.S. Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) Friday in pledging support for the Pledge of Allegiance.


Mr. Talent, junior senator from Missouri, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), is sponsoring the Pledge Protection Act of 2005 ensuring that federal courts can not rule that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional with the phrase "under God" included.


Speaking to about 100 people at the Pettis County Courthouse, Mr. Talent said, "We'll be having a vote to see who in the Legislature will stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance."


He took the dias surrounded by representatives of veteran's groups and Boy Scout troops to host the pro-Pledge rally.


Tony Gallagher, Chef de Gare of Voiture 333, 40 & 8, introduced the senator with a speech in support of Mr. Talent's bill.


"Under God was added to the pledge in 1954 in a bill signed by President Dwight Eisenhower," Mr. Gallagher said.


He told the crowd that no one is forced to repeat the Pledge and we should not be kept from acknowledging God.


Mr. Talent said that on Sept. 15, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution he had sponsored supporting the Pledge and condemning the decision by a U.S. District Court that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because it contains the words "under God."


The senator said he believes that the United States has survived and prospered because of the guidance of a loving and benevolent God.


He said despite what the Constitution says, truths are not self-evident -- they are constantly being challenged.


"It's time to stand up for those basic principles," Mr. Talent said.



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Sure, the Scouts support the pledge, but would we support it any less if it didn't say "under God"?


I worry that the Scouts attending may be making a more politicized statement than is appropriate for uniformed Scouts.


Certainly we want our boys and adults to be politically aware and act on their beliefs, but to do it in uniform is getting into a very gray area. We run the risk of politicizing our uniforms - (even more?) - and making it acceptable to praise or condemn Scout uniforms based on political ideologies and goals -- based on which side of a political hotbutton you're on.


Seemingly, this rally was not in support of the pledge but in support of a proposed bill that would put restraints on the federal and Supreme Courts. At first glance, this strikes me as more about politics than about the Scout Oath and Law.


I'll have to think about this some more and see if I can find more info.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .





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Congress can pass any laws it wants regarding "Pledge Protection." Unless or until a Constitutional amendment to the contrary is passed (highly unlikely in my view), The US Supreme Court can still strike those laws down as being unconstitutional. If they choose to, the Supreme Court can decide to rule that "under G-d" is an unconstitutional addition to the pledge too, although personally I doubt that will happen either. I suspect that as a member of Congress Mr. Talent knows this and is using this issue as a way to score political points rather than a genuine effort to "protect" the pledge. A photo opp. with a group of Boy Scouts and veterans at his back will certainly "play well" with his constituents but, regardless of the issue, I find it unfortunate that the Boy Scouts have allowed themselves to be used in this overtly political manner.


By the way I'd feel the same way if some liberal Democrat were using the Boy Scouts for their purposes too, though I think that is less likely to happen.



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Lisabob, IANAL, but the Constitution itself, in Article III, very clearly gives Congress the right to limit the scope of the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction:the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make


http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=285099Now, whether or not the proposed law will pass Constitutional muster remains to be seen, but the fact is, the Founders saw fit to give Congress the ability to limit the Court's jurisdiction, if they choose to use that power.


W.R.T. Scouts participating in such a rally, I have serious concerns about that myself. If they were there to open the rally with a flag ceremony, that's one thing, but active participation in the rally is quite another. The article implies the latter, but does not really come out and say it.

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GWD - You're on the mark, I just went over the rules for when you can and can't wear the uniform with a Webelos den a couple weeks ago. If the BSA picked them out and sent them that's one thing, but you're not allowed to yourself decide to wear your uniform to a political function of any sort because the views expressed may not necessarily be those of the BSA, and they don't want to deal with any backlash from misrepresentation. (And if Mike Walton's correct, then it could very well be construed as a federal crime in a sense for violating the BSA charter, but I don't think it'd get pressed that far for anything shy of a gay-rights rally, frankly...)

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That same argument was made last year when Congress passed a law that told the court that it had to make a specific ruling in the Terry Schiavo case, a rule that the court promptly, and correctly, said was not proper and ignored. That is the same argument being being used by the backers of the Pledge Protection Act. If this argument were to succeed (and thus far, in all the times it has been attempted, it has not) the check/balance function of the Judicial Branch would cease to exist. Under this interpretation, the Congress could tell the court they can't make rulings on any number of controversial issues, such as abortion, search and seizure rules, police powers, etc.


The exceptions/regulations clause doesn't allow Congress to tell the courts what they can and can't rule on or how they must rule. The clause allows Congress to upgrade a law from the Supreme Court having appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court having original jurisdiction - ie Congress can pass a law and within the law state that challenges to the law will bypass the federal district courts and will be heard directly by the Supreme Court. Regulations refer to how the court operates - Congress could tell the court that with a particular law, the Supreme Court must make a ruling within 72 hours - that would be a proper regulation.



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Calico is correct that the dominant interpretation of the clause that fgoodwin cites has been that Congress cannot limit the scope of the US Supreme Court's jurisdiction. However, Calico, it would be incorrect to state that this clause allows Congress to "upgrade" a class of cases from appellate to original jurisdiction. This matter was ruled upon in a definitive manner in 1803 (Marbury v. Madison), in which the Supreme Court determined that if Congress wishes to alter the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, it must do so by amending the Constitution itself, and not passing an ordinary law.


As to whether Congress can alter the appellate jurisdiction: this comes under more debate but most legal scholars agree that if Congress were to pass laws prohibiting review of cases in a way that otherwise contradicts the Constitution, then the courts would strike down such attempts as being, themselves, unconstitutional. Consequently, any "Pledge Protection" act is likely to be challenged on first amendment grounds. Congress cannot constitutionally prohibit the courts from hearing such cases and an attempt to do so would almost certainly fail. Surely Mr. Talent is aware of this, which is what makes me think that this was just a raw political ploy on his part.


If he *really* wants to "protect" the pledge, I suggest that instead of using boy scouts for political ends and staging a meaningless vote for partisan electoral purposes, he might consider what the pledge embodies and work at promoting and protecting those higher ideals.



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fgoodwin, when I read your first post quoting the Constitution, I thought there was something about it that didn't look right. You quoted a portion of the last sentence of Section 2, paragraph 2. This subsection and the sentence you have quoted applies to paragraph 1 of Section 2.


In paragraph 1, the Supreme Court is not the original or trial court, it is the appellate or reviewing Court. In paragraph 2, the Supreme Court is the original or trial court. Not many of those cases these days, because the Supreme Court can delegate a lower court to hold hearings on it.


LisaBob, Congress and the States have limited the Supreme Court's Authority, i.e. the 11th Amendment. "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be contstrued to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State." This was most recently cited by the Supreme Court in the Seminole Tribe v. Florida, a gaming compact case. The Court has no authority to enter an order that a State enter into a Gaming Compact under the Indian Gaming Act with a tribe. This and the 10th amendment are States' Rights Amendments.

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Article III clearly grants the Congress the right to establish courts with special jurisdictions such as granting wire taps and to some extent limiting what cases the SCOTUS can hear. It does not grant Congress the right to violate the Fifth Amendment:


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Appeal to the SCOTUS is part of due process of law. If this was not the case couldnt Congress pass a law making criticism of elected officials illegal and deny the courts the right to strike down the law?


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