Public Experssions of Religion Protection Act of 2006
Article III of the Constitution states that 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.
Why are we trying to do the Court's job by deciding that these Establishment Clause claims deserve only injunctive or declaratory relief?
This bill reaches right into the Civil Rights Act, for the first time in history, I might add, singles out people who have Establishment Clause claims and tells them that they cannot recover any economic damages. How can this be so, Mr. Speaker? How can this be so, when the 11th Circuit in Glassroth v. Moore, a case decided in 2003, stated that: For Establishment Clause claims based on noneconomic harm, the plaintiffs must identify a personal injury suffered by them as a consequence of the alleged constitutional error.
The court found injury in Glassroth because the claimants had altered their conduct and incurred expenses in order to minimize contact with a Ten Commandments monument erected in the rotunda of Alabama's State judicial building.
With this bill, this committee attempts to overturn Federal judicial opinions, and that is simply not our role. Congress established enforcement remedies under section 1983 more than 100 years ago.