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We the People Act

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The We the People Act is a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Ron Paul. Most recently in 2009 as H.R. 539, and back in 2004 as H.R. 3893. The bill intends:

To limit the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and for other purposes.

The bill intends to please both the God-fearing religious right and the big-government-fearing libertarian right by doing the following:

  • Prevents the Supreme Court and all federal courts from making decisions regarding:
    • State and local laws concerning free exercise an establishment of religion
    • the right of privacy including sexual practices, orientation or reproduction
    • the role of the Equal Protection clause on the right to marry.
  • Prevents the reliance on any federal court decision on any of the above topics.
  • Prevents the Supreme Court from "redefining marriage" using the Equal Protection clause
  • Allows the Congress or the President of the United States to impeach judges who breach the act.

In Congressman Paul's own words:

The We the People Act forbids federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from adjudicating cases concerning State laws and polices relating to religious liberties or "privacy," including cases involving sexual practices, sexual orientation or reproduction. The We the People Act also protects the traditional definition of marriage from judicial activism by ensuring the Supreme Court cannot abuse the equal protection clause to redefine marriage. In order to hold Federal judges accountable for abusing their powers, the act also provides that a judge who violates the act's limitations on judicial power shall either be impeached by Congress or removed by the President, according to rules established by the Congress.

It is being supported by the Traditional Values Coalition, and opposed by many secularists. In its 2009 version, it was cosponsored by Rep. Walter B. Jones (North Carolina) and, appropriately enough, Rep. Ted Poe (Texas). The 2004 version was cosponsored by Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (Maryland).