Time will tell if Texas Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. will be remembered as a political visionary or a hackneyed yahoo with a tenuous grip on both grade school civics and reality.
For now, we'll just have to weigh the merits of an "action plan" the perpetually cowboy-hatted Magnolia Republican issued Monday, calling for the impeachment of the U.S. Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. It's freaking amazing.
Bell's "PACT for Constitutional Restoration of State Sovereignty" also calls for citizens to "act without delay to restore the constitutional sovereignty of the separate states, and of the people, and to restore the constitutionally constrained, limited federal government established by our Founding Fathers."
Accusing the five majority Supreme Court justices of "bad behavior," Bell's manifesto also called for Congress to strip SCOTUS of hearing certain cases. (The PACT doesn't expressly enumerate this, but we assume Bell, armed with a pair of rubber stamps, would place himself in charge of what cases the high court could hear).
We're puzzled by this post-legislative session Tea Party mollifying, but hardly surprised: Bell authored several anti-gay bills during the session, including one that would have stripped the salaries of any clerk or official who issued a same-sex marriage license.
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According to the Texas Tribune, "the Texas Democratic Party responded Monday by calling the 'mean-spirited Tea Party base' out of touch with Texas values." The Trib also quotes the party's spokesman, Javier Gamboa: "If they want to ignore the Constitution, so be it. However, they took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. If they don't want to, we urge them to seek another job."
If Bell did choose to pursue another career, there are many he's eminently qualified for, including Looney Tunes cartoon character; Grand Marshal of the Texas Stereotype Association; and home school guidance counselor.
Of course, it's too early in the game to tell whether the PACT has any legs. It's possible legislators in other states will draft similar action plans, creating a tidal wave of political reform. We'll just have to wait and see.