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Terri Schindler: a year’s agony

One year ago today, Terri Schindler (Schiavo) began the slow and agonizing path of starvation and dehydration, as the nutrition tube was removed from her body. Terri, as you hopefully recall, was brain-damaged and in hospice. Sadly, some of the very persons who should have sought to preserve her life actually fought to end it. Her husband (whose hopes to move on with his adulterous life were more important than the life of his wife) had convinced a morally bankrupt Florida judge to order the starvation of Terri.

While American citizens watched on television, listened by radio, and read by Internet, the legal battle was fought to the very end. Terri’s parents and siblings made every possible legal effort to save her from the cruel and unusual death she suffered. Despicably, those intent on murder were successful in their quest. Despite rumblings from President George Bush, the U.S. Congress, the Florida legislature, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the conspirators of disaster worked their wileful deed. As Terri lay conscious, painfully aware that she was thirsting to death, her husband and his attorneys congratulated themselves on their endeavor.

Although this situation seems reminiscent of a horror story, it actually happened. The events played out publicly in Pinellas Park, Florida. Millions of Americans were aware of the sadistic state-sanctioned murder of this innocent woman. Thousands gathered outside the hospice where Terri lay dying; they were there to encourage her parents and siblings, to pray for God’s intervention, to seek justice from the secular authorities. Press conferences were called; demonstrations were held; prayer gatherings were organized; public and private entreatments for intervention were proffered. Sadly, the deed was begun and carried to its end.

A year ago, I wrote some things about this harsh event. I was present for a few days at the concentration camp hospice where Terri was incarcerated. The local police were out in force to ensure that no one carried food or water to Terri. They were also present in her room to ensure that she be allowed to die the unnatural death that was inflicted upon her. I saw a few familiar faces among the crowds, and met many common citizens who came to weep and pray.

I will offer a few more reflections over the coming days. Terri should long be remembered. She should be remembered because she is one of God’s children, valuable simply because she was created by him. She should be remembered because she was a public sacrifice for the seared conscience of an increasingly godless people. Let us not forget Terri Schindler, the lady who was butchered by the blood-stained hands of politically powerful reprobates.

Phillip Jauregui

Constitution for Congress

Phillip Jauregui wants to restore our governing document

There’s a congressional candidate from Alabama who’s a little out of the ordinary. His oddity comes not from the fact that he’s an attorney or a well-known figure in recent national events. It’s his commitment to the Constitution that makes him a rarity among congressional candidates and current members. That and his commitment to action: “The courts have literally betrayed their oaths to the Constitution and, … [members of] Congress are not keeping their oaths if they simply stand around and watch the Constitution being destroyed.”

Phillip Jauregui, 34, is campaigning in the Republican Primary for the 6th District of the U.S. House of Representatives. He hails from Birmingham, has two children and is married to Jennifer. Jauregui has been in private practice since 1998. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Assistant Legal Advisor to former Governor Fob James, attorney for former Chief Justice Perry Hooper, and was a clerk with the Alabama Supreme Court. He graduated from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.

Familiarity with Jauregui in Alabama and across the United States stems from his involvement with the legal cases of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the well-known Montgomery Ten Commandments monument. Jauregui first began working with Moore in 1995, when he was a legal advisor to James in the earlier Ten Commandments case when Moore was a circuit judge. He also served as Moore’s campaign manager in the 2000 chief justice race in which Moore was elected. In the recent cases, Jauregui served as Moore’s lead counsel, arguing the appeal of Moore’s removal from office before a specially-selected Alabama Supreme Court.

Jauregui serves on the Prison Fellowship of Alabama Council, part of a national ministry headed by Chuck Colson. He also serves on the Sav-A-Life board, a pro-life ministry that provides counselling and other assistance to women who might otherwise undergo abortions. Jauregui is a member of the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, where he also serves as a trustee.

The campaign Jauregui runs is focused on constitutional restoration. He wants Congress to take responsibility for its role as the legislative body–and to fiercely protect that authority from federal judges. He says that, if Congress is acting only as “an ad hoc body that makes policy recommendations to the Supreme Court, then Congress is not being Congress.” The Constitution must be restored to its place as the primary governing instrument of our nation. He fears that existence of Americans as a free people is threatened by judicial tyranny.

Congress must be true to the Constitution. Jauregui points out that congressmen don’t take oaths to get themselves re-elected or to keep their majority party status in Congress; instead, their oaths are to protect and defend the Constitution. In order for congressmen to uphold their oaths to the Constitution by limiting judicial abuse, Jauregui advocates four steps.

The first thing he says Congress must do is to simply “limit the court to its constitutional jurisdiction.” Instead of taking direction from the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, Congress should act as a separate body, making its own decisions about law. When the courts overstep their authority, Congress can also further limit their jurisdiction.

The second thing Congress can do to restrict abuse by the courts is to restrict funding. Jauregui suggests that the resolution the House of Representatives passed in the Montgomery Ten Commandments monument case is a good method of blocking enforcement of unconstitutional rulings by courts. In that case, the House said that it would not allocate any funds to the enforcement of the federal judge’s order to remove the monument. Similar restriction of funds in other cases could render out of control judges powerless to enforce their rulings. Jauregui said, “Congress has the authority–and, as a matter of fact, has the duty–to restrict funding” in cases where the courts try to tell Congress how to do its job.

The third thing Jauregui wants Congress to do is to “discipline members of the court who are refusing to confine themselves to their constitutional role as judges.” The Constitution provides for the impeachment and removal from office of judges who do not serve under good behavior. Jauregui said, “Judges are not behaving well when they defy their oaths and anoint themselves as legislators over Congress.” “… If they don’t … respect congressional action which is gentle, then maybe the only thing they’re going to respect is removal from office.” He said that impeachment is a discipline of last–but real–resort that should be used judiciously and strategically.

Jauregui’s fourth idea for accountability is the passage of laws by Congress to deal with particular court cases. Such a law would identify Congress as the lawmaking body, state that the court’s purpose is to decide controversy–not to make law–and identify rulings in specific cases as void. Jauregui said, “According to Chief Justice Marshall in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, if a ruling is repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. The same way with a statute. If Congress does something that’s repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. If a federal judge issues an order that is repugnant to the Constitution, that order is void. Judges, too, … take an oath to the Constitution and they are bound to it. … Accordingly, other officers … who have taken oaths to the Constitution … are bound to the Constitution, not to federal judges who have unbound themselves from their oaths to the Constitution and are now declaring war against it.”

Jauregui sees the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 as one means of reigning in runaway federal judges. If the act doesn’t pass in the current class of Congress, Jauregui would make it his first priority, if elected. He said, “I feel so strongly about it that I would have to talk with the leadership in Washington–congressional leadership–and I would tell them, ‘This must be our number one priority.’ And I would say that very respectfully and I would want them to make it the number one priority but if they did not, then I would have to say, ‘Then you’re not leading.’ And, I would then look for other leaders in Congress who would then make this their number one priority.”

On other issues, Jauregui is similarly conservative. He opposes the continuation of “most favored nation” trading status for China: “The main reason is that they’re persecuting the Church…” Jauregui also opposes abortion: “Life begins at conception and the taking of that life is wrong.” He is against stem cell research on materials from aborted babies because the children haven’t given their consent and also because using fetal tissues creates an incentive to kill children. “There are plenty of other ways we can do medical research without desecrating the bodies of innocent babies,” Jauregui said.

One issue on which Jauregui differs from many other conservative leaders is his position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment would define marriage as solely between a man and woman. Jauregui doesn’t believe this is enough. He says all the blood, sweat, and tears needed to pass such an amendment wouldn’t be well spent if it simply allows homosexual marriage to go forward under the name of civil unions.

He is even more adamant that this issue doesn’t require such an amendment at all. “The whole reason we’re dealing with this crisis in marriage today is because of what the US Supreme Court did last summer in Lawrence v. Texas. And what the court did in Lawrence v. Texas was absolutely unlawful and unconstitutional.” Jauregui believes what the Supreme Court did was illegitimate and that, because it was illegitimate, it should be ignored. Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of a constitutional amendment, Congress should “…stand up and be Congress and say, ‘No, we won’t allow you to do that.'” He also said, “I think it’s ridiculous if we allow the courts to do something illegitimate and then we treat it as legitimate and force ourselves to correct it through this long process, it’s the wrong way to go. The best way to handle it is to recognize what they’ve done is illegitimate, period.”

While others have been talking, Jauregui has been doing. We know very well that talk is cheap these days. But, Jauregui has actively worked to assist justice in Alabama and the nation. Many a congressman can introduce or co-sponsor a good bill, but making sure the right thing is done by fighting for the passage of that bill is quite another. We’ve long suffered the games of politicians who promise the moon and deliver nothing more than muck. Jauregui’s a man who is committed to doing the right thing whether he loses re-election, is expelled from Congress, or is vilified by the unsavory elements of the American Civil Liberties Union or Southern Poverty Law Center and their lot. He’s counted the cost and he’s willing to pay the price. He’s not interested in a political legacy–a godly one will do just fine.

He’s a leader committed to submission to the Supreme Ruler of the world. Jauregui understands that no judge, no president, no legislator can make right what God has declared wrong.

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. Text of the bill introduced in Congress in coordination with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. ADERHOLT introduced the following bill

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 2004”.

TITLE I—JURISDICTION

SEC. 101. APPELLATE JURISDICTION.

(a) IN GENERAL.—

(1) Chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

Ҥ1260. 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 element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), by reason of that element’s or officer’s acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

(2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
“1260. Matters not reviewable.”

(b) APPLICABILITY. Section 1260 of title 28, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall not apply to an action pending on the date of the enactment of this Act, except to the extent that a party or claim is sought to be included in that action after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 102. LIMITATIONS ON JURISDICTION.

(a) IN GENERAL.

(1) Chapter 85 of title 28, United State Code, is amended by adding at the end of the following new section:
“1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the district court 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”.

(2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review.”

(b) APPLICABILITY.—Section 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall not apply to an action pending on the date of the enactment of this Act, except to the extent that a party or claim is sought to be included in that action after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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.

TITLE III—ENFORCEMENT

SEC. 301. EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL CASES NOT BINDING ON STATES
Any decision of a Federal court which has been made prior to 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.