PLEDGE PROTECTION ACT OF 2004 -- (House of Representatives - September 23, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 781 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 2028.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in proud support of H.R. 2028, the Pledge Protection Act, introduced by the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Akin). We are here today because, once again, activist judges have taken it upon themselves to dictate law in this country, believing they know better than all Americans, they know better than the State legislatures or the Federal legislature, and they know better than the Founding Fathers themselves, they think.
The Pledge Protection Act defends the constitutionality of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by simply restricting the jurisdictions of some lower Federal courts. This body here is more than within our bounds to limit the role of Federal court jurisdiction.
The power of Congress is granted in article III of the Constitution. The clause states, "The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
Accordingly, the Constitution provides that the lower courts are entirely creatures of Congress, as is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Just as this Congress is checked every so often by the power of the Presidential veto, and we are checked every 2 years by re-elections, we in turn have the ability to check or rein in abusive and out-of-line courts.
The Pledge closely reflects the noblest intentions of our Founding Fathers and the inspiration that has led to the creation of this great Nation, and that is why I can confidently say that nothing in the reciting of the Pledge discriminates against any religious minorities or abuses any rights.
The phrase "under God" simply acknowledges that our Founding Fathers, who were leaders in the fight for our independence and the authors of our Nation's framework, did so with the inspiration and their belief in a divine being.
We all know this House starts each morning with the Pledge as we begin our business, and I believe that right should not be taken away from the children of this country as well.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT