Last updated on: 6/30/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act (HR 3190) Overview

I. Summary

II. Co-Sponsors

III. Related Links

 

I. Summary

Rep. Charles Pickering, Republican from Mississippi, introduced House Bill 3190, more commonly known as the Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act, on Sept. 25, 2003. It declared that among those powers reserved to the States and their political subdivisions are the powers to display the Ten Commandments, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and to recite the national motto on or within property owned or administered by them. It was submitted to the Committee on the Judiciary. On Oct. 22, 2003 it was referred to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution. It did not become law.

The Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act found “the following:

(1) The Declaration of Independence declares that governments are instituted to secure certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, with which all human beings are endowed by their Creator and to which they are entitled by the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

(2) The organic laws of the United States Code and the constitutions of every State, using various expressions, recognize God as the source of the blessings of liberty.

(3) The first amendment to the Constitution secures rights against laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof made by the Federal Government.

(4) The rights secured under the first amendment have been interpreted by the Federal courts to be included among the provisions of the 14th amendment.

(5) The 10th amendment reserves to the States, respectively, the powers not delegated to the Federal Government nor prohibited to the States.

(6) Disputes and doubts have arisen with respect to public displays of the Ten Commandments and to other public expression of religious faith.

(7) Section 5 of the 14th amendment grants Congress the power to enforce the provisions of the 14th amendment.

(8) Article III, section 2 of the Constitution grants Congress the authority to except certain matters from the jurisdiction of the Federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

SEC. 3. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY RIGHTS DECLARED.

(a) DISPLAY OF TEN COMMANDMENTS- The power to display the Ten Commandments on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions of such States is among the powers reserved to the States, respectively.

(b) WORD `GOD’ IN PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The power to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions of such States is among the powers reserved to the States, respectively. The Pledge of Allegiance shall be, `I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all.’.

(c) MOTTO `IN GOD WE TRUST’- The power to recite the national motto on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions of such States is among the powers reserved to the States, respectively. The national motto shall be, `In God we trust’.

(d) EXERCISE OF CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO EXCEPT- The subject matter of subsections (a), (b), and (c) are excepted from the jurisdiction of Federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court.”

See the full text of Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act (PDF)

 

II. Co-Sponsors

Representative’s Name State Party Date of Co-Sponsorship
Todd Akin MO Republican Nov. 20, 2003
Spencer Bachus AL Republican Oct. 17, 2003
James Barrett SC Republican Nov. 6, 2003
Roscoe Bartlett MD Republican Oct. 28, 2003
Joe Barton TX Republican Nov. 21, 2003
Bob Beauprez CO Republican Oct. 21, 2003
Rob Bishop UT Republican Nov. 19, 2003
Marsha Blackburn TN Republican Jan. 20, 2004
Kevin Brady TX Republican Nov. 20, 2003
John Carter TX Republican Jan. 20, 2004
John Culberson TX Republican Jan. 23, 2004
Jo Ann Davis VA Republican Oct. 29, 2003
Nathan Deal GA Republican Jan. 20, 2004
John Doolittle CA Republican Oct. 28, 2003
Terry Everett AL Republican Nov. 20, 2003
Trent Franks AZ Republican Oct. 30, 2003
John Gingrey GA Republican Jan. 21, 2004
Virgil Goode VA Republican Oct. 16, 2003
Samuel Graves MO Republican Oct. 28, 2003
Walter Herger CA Republican Nov. 20, 2003
Peter Hoekstra MI Republican Nov. 21, 2003
John Hostettler IN Republican Oct. 20, 2003
Samuel Johnson TX Republican Feb. 10, 2004
Walter Jones NC Republican Jan. 20, 2004
Ric Keller FL Republican Nov. 21, 2003
Steve King IA Republican Oct. 29, 2003
Representative’s Name State Party Date of Co-Sponsorship
Jack Kingston GA Republican Oct. 29, 2003
Thomas Latham IA Republican Nov. 20, 2003
Thaddeus McCotter MI Republican Nov. 19, 2003
John McHugh NY Republican Oct. 30, 2003
Jeff Miller FL Republican Oct. 7, 2003
Marilyn Musgrave CO Republican Oct. 29, 2003
Charles Norwood GA Republican Nov. 20, 2003
James Nussle IA Republican June 8, 2004
Thomas Osborne NE Republican Nov. 21, 2003
C.L. Otter ID Republican Jan. 20, 2004
Todd Platts PA Republican Jan. 20, 2004
Nick Rahall WV Democrat Jan. 20, 2004
Michael Rogers AL Republican Oct. 28, 2003
Jim Ryun KS Republican Jan. 21, 2004
John Shimkus IL Republican Oct. 28, 2003
Christopher Smith NJ Republican Mar. 17, 2004
Mark Souder IN Republican Oct. 30, 2003
John Sullivan OK Republican Jan. 28, 2004
Lee Terry NE Republican Oct. 1, 2003
Patrick Tiberi OH Republican Jan. 20, 2004
James Turner TX Democrat Nov. 20, 2003
David Vitter LA Republican Jan. 20, 2004
Zach Wamp TN Republican Oct. 8, 2003
Roger Wicker MS Republican Nov. 19, 2003
Addison Wilson SC Republican Dec. 8, 2003

 

III. Related Links

1. Read the full text of Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act (DOC)

2. See similar legislation (Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties Act) introduced by Rep. Charles Pickering in the 109th Congress.

3. Examine similar Senate version – Religious Liberties Restoration Act.

4. Research Congressional Actions on the Pledge of Allegiance.

5. Learn more about the First Amendment as It Relates to the the Pledge of Allegiance.

6. Pledge of Allegiance History 1887-Today