Friday, March 26, 2004
Collins: Supreme Court should quit overruling Congress
U.S. Rep. Mac Collins announced last week that he is a proud co-sponsor of the Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act (H.R. 3920). This bill would give Congress the authority to reverse certain future judgments of the U.S. Supreme Court through a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.
I, like so many of my constituents, am infuriated at the Supreme Courts attempts to rewrite the laws of our country, said Collins. This bill is better than relying on the piecemeal amendment approach every time the high court hands down a decision that many, if not most members of Congress and their constituents disapprove of.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Lewis of Kentucky. If enacted, it would only apply to future high court cases and to those decisions relating to acts passed by the Congress and signed by the President.
The bill applies only to those decisions that make a pronouncement on the constitutionality of an Act of Congress. If the decision deals with other issues such as individual liberties, the constitutionality of a search and seizure, the rights of parties in a civil suit, or the interpretation of language in federal statute, then this bill will not apply, said Collins.
This bill would require a two-thirds vote of both houses instead of a simple majority because the court deserves the same level of dignity that a presidential veto would receive.
It is entirely possible that the Court will pronounce a law unconstitutional and then Congress would let the decision stand without any debate or votes. This has to change. The process will be similar to the override process for presidential vetoes, Collins said.
It is in the intent of this legislation for each Congressional chamber to set a precise process for challenging Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court should interpret and not remake the laws of America, Collins concluded.