Republican Lawmakers Fire Back at Judiciary

WASHINGTON, June 30 - Stepping up their assault on the federal judiciary, Congressional Republicans announced efforts on Thursday directed at overturning two recent Supreme Court decisions, one that allowed government to claim private property for economic development and another that stripped Kentucky courthouses of the Ten Commandments.

"This Congress is just not going to sit by and let an unaccountable judiciary make these kinds of decisions," said Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House Republican leader.

At a news conference, Mr. DeLay called the property ruling a "George Orwell novel of a court decision."

Mr. DeLay appeared with members of the House and Senate who are proposing bills to sharply restrict the government's power of eminent domain.

Hours after he spoke, the House voted 231 to 189 to approve a measure that would prohibit federal financing for property seizures. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois praised the move, an amendment to a spending bill covering transportation and housing, as "an important first step" to protecting private property, though it was not clear if the measure would survive in the Senate.

Earlier in the day, Representative Ernest Istook, Republican of Oklahoma, stood on the Supreme Court steps to announce a constitutional amendment, backed by 109 House members, including 5 Democrats, that would protect references to God on public property.

Do these people have any idea how stupid they look? Do they care? Details here from The New York Times.