King: Strip the Court of Jurisdiction Before Oral Argument on Marriage Cases

Rep. Steve King, one of the most extreme and reality-challenged members of Congress, is echoing Ted Cruz in wanting Congress to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over same-sex marriage cases, but he wants to do it right now, before the oral argument takes place on April 28.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week for and against bans on same-sex marriage, and many are hopeful that it will eventually rule in favor of expanding marriage equality.

So what are social conservatives to do to stop it? According to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), they can block the Supreme Court from considering it at all.

King unveiled a bill on Wednesday that would bar federal courts from hearing any cases related to the definition of marriage.

“We could pass this bill before the Supreme Court could even hear the oral arguments, let alone bring a decision down in June,” he said at a press conference. “That would stop it right then, there would be no decision coming out of the Supreme Court. This is a brake, and whether we can get the brake on or not between now and June, that we don’t know.”

The bill doesn’t stand much of a chance — even if it got through the House and Senate, it would almost certainly be vetoed by President Barack Obama. Still, it indicates the degree to which social conservatives are willing to go to maintain bans on same-sex marriage even if the nation’s highest court rules they are unconstitutional.

King, as usual, is living in a fantasy world. Yes, Congress does have the power to do that, but there’s no way in hell it would pass. But as always, King is allergic to reality and prefers to live in his dream world.

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  • John Pieret

    Even if it did pass, Obama would veto it and there’s no way they could muster 2/3 of either house to overcome the veto.

    This isn’t fantasy land, it’s demagogy valley.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    YOU LIBERALS DONT UNDERSTAND THESE FREEDOM ISSUES!!! THE CONSTITUTION IS QUITE CLEAR ON THIS POINT!!! FREEDOM IS A REPSONISIBILITY LEFT TO THE STATES NOT TO THE SUPREME COURT!!! HOPEFULLY AFTER US PATRIOTIC SMALL GOVERNMENT SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN LIBERTARIAN TEA PARTIERS STRIP THE COURT OF THE “RIGHT” TO HEAR CULTURE WAR CASES WELL LOSE WE CAN TAKE THE NEXT STEP ON THE FREEDOM AGENDA: TO ENSURE THAT THIS REMAINS A STATE LEVEL ISSUE WE MUST ENACT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING THE STATES FROM APPROVING GAY SOCALLED “MARRIAGE”!!!

  • D. C. Sessions

    So if the Court could not rule on the matter, wouldn’t that let the lower-court rulings stand?

    Which States would that leave? Wouldn’t that leave California the question of whether to recognize marriages conducted in Texas?

  • gshelley

    I had heard of this power, but didn’t know it was one of the things that the President wasn’t allowed to veto

  • teele

    No doubt Mr. King is not very bright, but he does not believe that a bill like this could every get passed anymore than Pat Robertson believes in a god. This is pure posturing, and is being done for the same crowd and the same reason as Mr. Robertson’s pandering is done — $$$$$$!!

  • zevonsky72

    Yes, Congress does have the power to do that, but there’s no way in hell it would pass.

    I disagree that Congress has that power.

    Article III of the Constitution says 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.” It also provides that “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, [or] the Laws of the United States.” I read that to mean that, even if Congress were to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts or disband them altogether, the Supreme Court still has power over all federal questions, and Congress has no power to change that short of a constitutional amendment.

    Article III goes on to talk about which cases the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction, and those for which it has original jurisdiction. The logical inference is that, if Congress strips the lower courts of jurisdiction on a given federal question, the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction simply defaults to original jurisdiction.

    In short, jurisdiction-stripping cannot constitutionally prevent at least the Supreme Court from hearing a case involving a federal question. I know there are some post-Civil War authorities that hold to the contrary, but I doubt they make for good precedent given the shaky reasoning and the wartime circumstances.

    Some may argue that Congress can try jurisdiction-stripping lite by just prohibiting the Supreme Court from spending any funds on cases involving same-sex marriage, but arguably any law that forces the Court not to hear certain cases over which it has the constitutional power to decide is also an unconstitutional interference on that power.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Fuckin’ laws, how do they work?

  • zevonsky72

    If the Republicans were to put such a jurisdiction-stripping law to a vote, I would love to see the Democrats in the Senate filibuster it unless it also contains jurisdiction-stripping language for Obamacare and abortion rights. Conservatives need to understand that once we start roping off parts of the Constitution, there’s no telling where the process will end.

  • John Hinkle

    “We could pass this bill before the Supreme Court could even hear the oral arguments, let alone bring a decision down in June,” he said at a press conference.

    Announcement of Press Conference by the Honorable Rep. Steve King. Please join Rep. King tomorrow at 9am. He has some really important stuff and things to say.

    Rep King: I’m introducing a bill to block the Supreme Court from considering anything gay…

    Press (in unison): Aw shit! We got up early and schlepped all our gear in for this???

    Rep King: Wait, I’m not done. Where’s everybody going?

  • dhall

    Checks and balances, separation of powers, how do those work?

  • Chiroptera

    Yes, Congress does have the power to do that….

    Besides Zevonsky72’s point in a comment above, I doubt that Congress has the authority to strip the judiciary the power to review these same sex marriage cases. These cases are a matter of Constitutional interpretation, not simply deciding interpretation of ordinary legislation. Although not explicitly stated in the US Constitution, it has always been assumed that the Constitution implicitly gives the courts the final say on interpreting the Constitution; if that’s so, then I would think it would take a Constitutional amendment to prevent the courts from deciding any issues relating to the Constitution.

  • John Pieret

    Chiroptera:

    I doubt that Congress has the authority to strip the judiciary the power to review these same sex marriage cases.

    Yes, I’d say that’s correct, including all the other cases in the pipeline, even the ones where there have been decisions in district courts that have not yet been heard in the Courts of Appeal (the Supremes can, though it’s rarely done, take a case directly from a district court for review).

  • http://ahcuah.wordpress.com/ ahcuah

    Regarding Zevonsky72 (who I agree with), the issue of whether the Congress has the power to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction would have to be decided by . . . the Supreme Court.

    Does anybody really think they’d say Congress has that power?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Oral arguments – the horror!

    If this is allowed to continue, next thing you know we’ll be having anal cross-examinations.

  • felidae

    The fact that Steve King (and, it is applicable to Peter King as well) is routinely reelected testifies to the number of dumbfuckers in the electorate

  • StevoR

    @ ^ felidae : I wonder if gerrymandering and restricting who actually gets to vote also plays a role in that too.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Reductio ad absurdem:

    What if Congress stripped the Court of all power to review anything? If that’s not Konstitutionally Kosher, where is the limit?

  • Chiroptera

    I’m not sure why Congress thinks they need to go through all that trouble. I’ve heard that all you need to do is shout “suborning false muster” during the proceedings and then everything stops.