(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced a bill that would block the federal courts, including the U.S Supreme Court, from hearing or deciding cases involving the definition of marriage.
King discussed his on legislation on Capitol Hill Wednesday, saying that it “follows Constitutional principles” as outlined in Article 3, Section 2, which reads: The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
King said that provision allows Congress to act as a check to what he called “overreach” by the courts on the marriage question.
King’s "Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act" says that “no court created by an Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage."
King believes Congress has the authority to tell the federal courts they have no jurisdiction to hear any case on marriage. "And we have the authority to prohibit any funding from being used to enforce or adjudicate any decision on marriage,” he added.
“Congress has the authority to establish all the federal courts, and we’re directed to establish one by the Constitution. That one is the Supreme Court. All the other federal courts are created by Congress at the discretion of Congress."
King noted that in 1802, Congress abolished two federal districts, and given that authority to create and to abolish, "then we have the authority also to define what the courts can hear.”
“Congress has the authority to -- theoretically, under the Constitution -- to eliminate, if they choose, any federal district, in fact, all federal districts. And they can reduce the Supreme Court over time down to one chief justice at his own card table, with his own candle, working pro bono,” King said.
King said that in a conversation with Supreme Court Justice Scalia, he “generally, constitutionally, and philosophically” agreed with him on this issue.
If his bill becomes law, “then that would mean that the federal courts would no longer hear cases on marriage. They would revert back to the states, and the states then would define what marriage is, and most of the states have defined marriage between a man and a woman,” King said.
“We have judge-made law rather than the law that comes from people, and you know, the people are empowered -- our power comes from God, and the people are sovereign here in this country and then the people delegated that authority to the government under this republican form of government that’s guaranteed in our Constitution.”
King said his bill tells the courts not to overreach, and it also says that the people -- not unelected judges -- should decide what marriage is. “I believe the courts have overreached, and I think the people believe the courts have overreached,” King said.
“The Constitution grants this Congress the authority to restrain the court for good purpose, and a good purpose is that -- think of what would happen if we had no authority to do this and you had five rogue judges. They could turn this entire society upside down, and so this is a check and a balance that’s designed within the Constitution to keep the courts from overreaching.”
King said that if the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader share his convictions, they could pass his bill before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments next week on same-sex marriage bans in Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan.
"That would stop it right then,” he said.