To her credit Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is not shy about her role as a culture warrior and has come out in front of bold conservative initiatives to eradicate completely the constitutional separation of church and state.
Her latest campaign calls for stripping federal judges of jurisdiction to enforce equal protection laws. Bachmann’s motivation is, of course, protecting “traditional marriage” from the nefarious gay agenda. In a speech in Iowa, Bachmann told a group of social conservatives that Congress ultimately controls the scope of Article III federal courts and can, and should, “decide what judges can rule on and what they can’t.”
Bachmann’s proposal may be good at whipping the hard-right base into a froth, but it also gives us a nice illustration of just how radical her understanding of constitutional separation of powers really is.
Stripping federal courts of the power to hear equal protection challenges would require passing legislation that somehow removes the 14th Amendment from federal court jurisdiction–or attempts to circumvent the Amendment all together. Either option flies in the face of our notions of fundamental checks and balances, let alone embraces a vision of America that soundly rejects the democratic ideal of basic equality.
photo courtesy of Fibonacci Blue via Flickr