2006 Legislation
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SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 119 – Ten commandment display


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Bill Status

SJM119...............................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
TEN COMMANDMENTS DISPLAY - Stating findings of the Legislature and
requesting that Congress adopt S 520 and HR 1070 relating to limiting the
jurisdiction of the federal courts relating to matters involving the
acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty or
03/02    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/03    Rpt prt - to 10th Ord
03/08    10th Ord - ADOPTED - 25-5-5
      AYES -- Andreason(Hatch), Brandt, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burtenshaw,
      Cameron, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Fulcher, Gannon, Geddes,
      Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Keough, Little, Lodge, McGee, McKenzie,
      Pearce, Richardson, Sweet, Williams
      NAYS -- Burkett, Coiner, Kelly, Malepeai, Stegner
      Absent and excused -- Langhorst, Marley, Schroeder, Stennett, Werk
    Floor Sponsor - Sweet
    Title apvd - to House
03/09    House intro - 1st rdg - Held at Desk
03/14    Ref'd to St Aff
03/20    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/21    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/24    3rd rdg - ADOPTED - 53-11-6
      AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bastian, Bayer,
      Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block, Bolz, Brackett, Bradford, Cannon,
      Chadderdon, Collins, Crow, Deal, Denney, Edmunson, Ellsworth,
      Eskridge, Field(23), Garrett, Hart, Harwood, Henderson, Lake,
      Loertscher, Mathews, McGeachin, McKague, Miller, Moyle, Nielsen,
      Nonini, Raybould, Ring, Roberts, Rydalch, Sali, Schaefer,
      Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8), Shirley, Skippen, Smith(24), Smylie,
      Snodgrass, Stevenson, Wood, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- Henbest, Jaquet, Kemp, LeFavour, Martinez, Mitchell,
      Pasley-Stuart, Pence, Ringo, Rusche, Sayler
      Absent and excused -- Boe, Clark, Field(18), Smith(30), Trail, Wills
    Floor Sponsor - Sali
    Title apvd - To Senate
03/27    To enrol
03/28    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/29    Sp signed
03/30    To Secretary of State

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2006
                                       IN THE SENATE
                               SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 119
                              BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
  1                                   A JOINT MEMORIAL
  5        We, your Memorialists, the Senate and the House of Representatives of  the
  6    State  of  Idaho  assembled  in the Second Regular Session of the Fifty-eighth
  7    Idaho Legislature, do hereby respectfully represent that:
  8        WHEREAS, on Monday, June 27, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in two
  9    razor thin majorities of 5-4 that it is consistent with the First Amendment to
 10    display the Ten Commandments in an outdoor public square in Texas but  not  on
 11    the courthouse walls of two counties in Kentucky; and
 12        WHEREAS,  many  Americans  are  deeply  puzzled as to how the U.S. Supreme
 13    Court could produce two opposite results involving the same Ten  Commandments;
 14    and
 15        WHEREAS,  it is appropriate to observe that based on the Kentucky decision
 16    it is permissible to display the Ten Commandments in a county courthouse  pro-
 17    vided that you do not believe in God; and
 18        WHEREAS,  in the Kentucky case, Justice Scalia used the following words to
 19    emphasize the importance of the Ten Commandments to most Americans:
 20        "The three most popular religions  in  the  United  States,  Christianity,
 21        Judaism,  and  Islam - which combined account for 97.7% of all believers -
 22        are monotheistic .... All of them, moreover (Islam included), believe that
 23        the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses, and are divine  prescrip-
 24        tions for a virtuous life."; and
 25        WHEREAS,  very  recent  polling  data  by  a major Washington, D.C., paper
 26    revealed that a huge majority of the American people support posting  the  Ten
 27    Commandments:
 28        "Seventy  percent  of Americans would have no objection to posting the Ten
 29        Commandments  in  government  buildings,  and  eighty-five  percent  would
 30        approve if the Commandments are included as "one document among many  his-
 31        torical documents" when displayed in public buildings, according to a sur-
 32        vey conducted for the First Amendment Center."; and
 33        WHEREAS,  S  520 and HR 1070 are federal bills that will allow the display
 34    of the Ten Commandments in public places in  America,  providing  in  relevant
 35    part as follows:
 36        "Notwithstanding  any  other  provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court
 37        shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of  certiorari,  or
 38        otherwise,  any  matter  to  the  extent  that relief is sought against an
 39        entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against  an  officer  or
 40        agent  of  Federal,  State,  or local government (whether or not acting in
 41        official or personal capacity), concerning that  entity's,  officer's,  or
 42        agent's  acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or
 43        government."; and
 44        WHEREAS, hearings were held on the same language in June 2004 in the  Con-
  1    stitution,  Civil  Rights and Property Rights Subcommittee of the Senate Judi-
  2    ciary Committee and hearings were also held on this language in September 2004
  3    in the Courts Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee; and
  4        WHEREAS, Chief Justice Rehnquist in the Texas case  used  these  words  to
  5    describe the obvious duplicity of the U.S. Supreme Court in telling local gov-
  6    ernments  in  America  that  they cannot display the Ten Commandments in local
  7    buildings in their communities while at the same time allowing these same  Ten
  8    Commandments  to  be  present on these specific places on the building housing
  9    the U.S. Supreme Court:
 10        "Since 1935, Moses has stood, holding two tablets that reveal portions  of
 11        the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew, among other lawgivers in the south
 12        frieze. Representations of the Ten Commandments adorn the metal gates lin-
 13        ing  the north and south sides of the Courtroom as well as the doors lead-
 14        ing into the Courtroom. Moses also sits on the exterior east facade of the
 15        building holding the Ten Commandments tablets."; and
 16        WHEREAS, the Kentucky decision will be  used  by  litigants  who  want  to
 17    remove  God from the public square in America and sooner or later, this effort
 18    will take place in our states. Reports have indicated that it is now  underway
 19    in  at  least  twenty-five different places in America, namely, to require the
 20    removal of the Ten Commandments from public buildings or public parks.
 21        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second  Regular  Ses-
 22    sion of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Repre-
 23    sentatives concurring therein, that the Legislature requests Congress to adopt
 24    S  520  and HR 1070 and in so doing protect the ability of the people of Idaho
 25    to:
 26        (1)  Display the Ten Commandments in public buildings and  places  in  our
 27        states;
 28        (2)  Express their faith in public;
 29        (3)  Retain God in the Pledge of Allegiance;
 30        (4)  Retain "In God We Trust" as our national motto; and
 31        (5)  Utilize Article 3, 2.2 of the U.S. Constitution to except these areas
 32        from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 33        BE  IT  FURTHER  RESOLVED  that the Secretary of the Senate be, and she is
 34    hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this Memorial to the Pres-
 35    ident of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of  Representatives  of  Con-
 36    gress, and the congressional delegation representing the State of Idaho in the
 37    Congress of the United States.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                      STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                            RS 16141

This Senate Joint Memorial requests that the United States
Congress adopt S520 and HR1070, and in so doing, provide the
following protections; the ability of the people of Idaho to
Display the Ten Commandments in public buildings and express
their faith in public, retain "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance,
and retain "In God We Trust" as our national motto.

                           FISCAL IMPACT

There will be no fiscal impact.

Mr. Bryan Fischer, the Idaho Values Alliance
Phone: 841-2546
Sen. Gerry Sweet
Phone: 332-1000

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                          SJM 119