Constitution at stake in congressional races

October 10, 2004

Dear Editor:

I am reminded of Frank Capra's 1939 classic movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in which the nave, idealistic, backwoods kid Jefferson Smith, played by James Stewart, thwarts the corrupt political establishment and, in spite of incumbents attempts to discredit him, manages to triumph and bring honesty back to government.

This is precisely what we have facing us in this coming election, only the consequences are far more severe. What is at stake is the most sacred document of western civilization, the Constitution of the United States of America.

In July, U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis introduced HB 3920, Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act, the most scurrilous attack on the Constitution in history. Lewis and Sen. Jim Bunning are attempting to bypass the Constitution and usurp that power for themselves.


The procedures necessary to amend the Constitution were intentionally fashioned to make it difficult to accomplish in order to prohibit self-serving legislators from capriciously altering this most sacred document. Currently, it requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to initiate an amendment plus the approval of three-fourths of the states.

Lewis' bill, which has already passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, would require only a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress in order to escape judicial review by any federal appeals court, including the Supreme Court. This would have the affect of amending the Constitution by only a two-thirds vote in Congress, destroying the balance of power between the three branches of government. Lewis' initially identified targets are marriage, school prayer and protecting the unborn as cause celebre to justify his actions, as they are hot emotional buttons with a significant degree of current appeal. They are also all issues based upon his personal religious beliefs and they defy the doctrine of separation of church and state.

We must elect Dr. Daniel Mongiardo in place of Bunning to thwart the passage of this disastrous bill in the U.S. Senate, and we must defeat Lewis and send the nave, idealistic, backwoods kid Adam Smith, to Washington.

Jon Michael


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