blog Time Hath Found Us: House Bill HR 2679 - $tops Lawsuit$ Attacking 1st Amendment

May 31, 2005

House Bill HR 2679 - $tops Lawsuit$ Attacking 1st Amendment

I posted about the promise of Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) to introduce a bill which would remove the profit from the ACLU's anti-religion law suits. Rep. Hostettler was true to his word.

HR 2679 was introduced on May 26, 2005. The text of the bill follows.

Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)
HR 2679 IH

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2679

To amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to eliminate the chilling effect on the constitutionally protected expression of religion by State and local officials that results from the threat that potential litigants may seek damages and attorney's fees.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 26, 2005

Mr. HOSTETTLER (for himself, Mr. WAMP, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. JENKINS, Mr. PAUL, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. SODREL, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. PITTS, Mr. INGLIS of South Carolina, Mr. OTTER, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. POE, and Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

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A BILL

To amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to eliminate the chilling effect on the constitutionally protected expression of religion by State and local officials that results from the threat that potential litigants may seek damages and attorney's fees.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005'.


SEC. 2. LIMITATIONS ON CERTAIN LAWSUITS AGAINST STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS.

(a) Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights- Section 1979 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1983) is amended--

(1) by inserting `(a)' before the first sentence; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:


`(b) The remedies with respect to a claim under this section where the deprivation consists of a violation of a prohibition in the Constitution against the establishment of religion shall be limited to injunctive relief.'.

(b) Attorneys Fees- Section 722(b) of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1988(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following: `However, no fees shall be awarded under this subsection with respect to a claim described in subsection (b) of section nineteen hundred and seventy nine.'.

Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel.

HAT TIP: Jay at Stop The ACLU