COURT-STRIPPING LEGISLATION -- (House of Representatives - July 22, 2004)
(Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, today, the House will attempt to do something it has never done before, strip our courts
of hearing cases on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Eight years ago, I opposed DOMA because I felt it was a blatant act of discrimination against gays and lesbians. To this
day, I believe Republicans forced the issue in 1996 because it was a Presidential year and they wanted to divide the
country in a desperate search for votes.
It is 8 years later, and Republicans are at it again. Last week, they were embarrassed in the other body when they could
not even muster a majority on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Since that did not work, why not strip
the courts of authority to hear cases regarding DOMA?
The court-stripping bill would, for the first time in our Nation's history, take from a group of Americans the right to
appeal to our courts. It is also extremely dangerous in that it would lead to the possibility of Congress stripping other
issues from judicial review in the future.
It is bad policy; but in an election year, Republicans simply do not care.