Thursday, September 28, 2006

Arizona Representatives' Votes on the PERA Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2679, the "Public Expression of Religion Act," which denies plaintiffs the ability to recover legal costs in a challenge against government violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause. The effect of this bill is to make it more difficult for anyone to fight cases where the government violates the U.S. Constitution by instituting mandatory religious practices, by making those legal cases different from all others. In other words, any Representative voting in favor of this is implicitly advocating that governments be able to engage in unconstitutional religious activity and avoid the consequences and penalties that currently can result when they do. It seems to me that a Congressman who supports a bill to make it easier for government to get away with violations of the Constitution is a Congressman who is acting contrary to their oath of office.

Arizona Representatives who voted for reducing penalties and deterrence for unconstitutional theocracy by voting for the PERA Bill:

Jeff Flake (R-District 6)
Trent Franks (R-District 2)
J.D. Hayworth (R-District 5)
Jim Kolbe (R-District 8)
Rick Renzi (R-District 1)
John Shadegg (R-District 3)

Those who voted consistently with their oaths of office by voting against the PERA Bill:

Raul Grijalva (D-District 7)
Ed Pastor (D-District 4)

That's a partisan vote, and the Republicans continue to express their disregard for the U.S. Constitution and religious liberty.

You can find the full House roll call here.

For further information on this bill, see Ed Brayton's commentary at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

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