The We the People Act is a bill in the United States House of Representatives relating to federal court jurisdiction over social issues. It was introduced by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) on March 4 2004 as Template:USBill, and was reintroduced and cosponsored in the following two House terms (currently in committee as Template:USBill).
If made law, the Act would forbid federal courts (up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court) from hearing cases on subjects such as the display of religious text and imagery on government property, abortion (see Roe v. Wade), sexual practices (see Lawrence v. Texas), and same-sex unions, unless such a case were a challenge to the Constitutionality of federal law. It would also make federal court decisions on those subjects nonbinding as precedent in state courts, and would prohibit federal courts from spending money to enforce their judgments.
Because the bill forbids federal courts from adjudicating "any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion", atheists have criticized the bill as removing federal remedy for allegations of state violation of religious freedom. As an example of potential for violation, Article 1 of the Texas Constitution provides the (currently unenforced) requirement that office-holders "acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being". The Democratic Underground online community published the holding that the bill would give state sexual-orientation laws special immunity.
In the 108th Congress, Representatives Ron Paul and Roscoe Bartlett introduced the Act as Template:USBill on March 4 2004. Paul told Congress, "The best guarantor of true liberty is decentralized political institutions, while the greatest threat to liberty is concentrated power." On June 28 2004, it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property.
Paul's reintroduction as Template:USBill on November 17 2005, was immediately referred again to the House Judiciary Committee, which referred it to the same subcommittee on February 6 2006. In April 2006 the Traditional Values Coalition encouraged its contacts to lobby their representatives for passage; the bill was also endorsed by columnist Rev. Chuck Baldwin. On June 29 2006, Paul reintroduced the same text as Template:USBill but with five cosponsors: Tom Tancredo, Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Jr., John A. Sullivan, and John Duncan, Jr.; it was immediately referred to the Judiciary Committee, and later sponsored by Congressman Ted Poe.
- ↑ Rhodes, Randi (2007-08-16). Ron Paul interview battles Air America Randi Rhodes Show. Air America Radio. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.
- ↑ Ebonmuse (2008-01-06). Why Atheists Shouldn't Vote for Ron Paul. Retrieved on 2008-04-02.
- ↑ The We the (Evangelical) People Act. Democratic Underground (2007-12-24). Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved on 2008-04-02.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Strom, Ron. "Bill limits federal courts: Would stop judges from ruling on abortion, same-sex marriage cases", WorldNetDaily, 2006-01-13. Retrieved on 2008-04-02.
- ↑ Action Alert: We, The People Act. Traditional Values Coalition (2006-04-06). Retrieved on 2008-04-02.