Trent Franks

Trent Franks


Israel Allies Caucus Co-Chair Slams Kerry Remarks on Israel


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, today released the following statement following Secretary of State John Kerry's testimony, in which he claimed Israel was to blame for a stall in peace talks, due to their decision to build more homes in Jerusalem:

"During his testimony, Mr. Kerry criticized Israel for building homes in her own capital city, while doubling down on the Administration's 'deal' with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, which allows Iran to continue to enrich the uranium they need to build nuclear weapons.

"The same Palestinian Authority leaders who refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, also refused, five months ago, to participate in direct talks with Israel. Mr. Kerry's shameful attempts to blame Israel appear to have less to do with reality and more to do with an underlying anti-Israel outlook that defaults to blaming Israel, when anything fails.

"If that weren't enough, Mr. Kerry further criticized Israel for not releasing convicted Palestinian terrorists. Despite already possessing a dangerously naive foreign policy that alienates our closest allies and emboldens our most dangerous enemies, this Administration somehow manages to outdo its own ineptitude on a consistent basis."

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70 Representatives Urge President to Highlight Human Rights in Saudi Arabia


WASHINGTON, DC -- In anticipation of President Obama’s upcoming travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the end of this week, 70 bipartisan members of Congress signed a letter to President Obama to urge him to raise critical human rights cases in Saudi Arabia and meet with women activists who are challenging the country’s ban on women drivers, the only such ban in the world, and with prominent human rights advocates who are imprisoned.  The letter was led by Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Jacki Speier (D-CA).  Among the other signers were Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ted Poe (R-TX), and John Lewis (D-GA).

Congressman Trent Franks:

“The United States has turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record for far too long.  The overwhelmingly bipartisan and widespread support of our letter to President Obama demonstrates how critical human rights and religious freedom are to our foreign policy objectives.

“When President Obama travels to Saudi Arabia at the end of this week, he will have a unique opportunity to combine symbolic actions with direct support for human rights reform.  We urge the President to meet with women activists who have courageously challenged the country’s ban on women drivers and with prominent peaceful human rights advocates who are imprisoned.  If the Obama Administration has previously raised human rights concerns through private channels, Saudi Arabia’s continued human rights record—among the most repressive in the world—reveals their unwillingness to reform.  Now is the time to publically demonstrate U.S. support for those in Saudi Arabia who are taking such risks to advance fundamental rights in their society.”

Congressman Frank Wolf:

“As President Obama travels to Saudi Arabia later this week, he has an opportunity to confront the Saudi government about some of its most egregious human rights abuses. From the Saudi men who have been imprisoned for nearly two years without trial for the “crime” of becoming Ahmadiyya Muslims, to the ban on churches, from the regular silencing of journalists who seek freedom of speech, to the intimidation of most independent human rights activists, countless people suffer directly from the oppression of the Saudi government. The United States has a moral obligation to stand up for the rights of these individuals and make sure that their plight is not forgotten.”

Congressman James P. McGovern:

“As we work to build lasting  and stable partnerships with foreign societies, we need to recognize the diversity within them. During his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, President Obama should seek to meet with Saudi women activists, reach out to the families of imprisoned human rights advocates, and raise concern about the continued persecution of religious minorities in Saudi Arabia. Instead of condoning Saudi Arabia’s stifling of peaceful social, political, and religious dissent, we must actively engage those who speak up for freedom.”

Congresswoman Jacki Speier:

“Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is abysmal at best and its mistreatment of women is systemic, unthinkable and cruel. When President Obama meets with King Abdullah, he must speak out against intolerance and urge specific reforms to bring the country closer to the rest of the free world.”

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Franks Praises Passage of U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act


WASHINGTON, DC -- Following the passage of H.R. 938, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, released the following statement:

"Israel's importance as a major strategic partner has been demonstrated time and again, including, most recently, in the brilliant interception by Israel of an Iranian arms smuggling ship bound to Gaza. Israel remains the closest friend America has in the world.

"Unfortunately, this Administration has consistently failed to recognize that fact, often alienating allies like Israel while catering to our enemies.

"Even as this Administration promotes a 'deal' with Iran that both utterly fails to adequately address Iran's nuclear weapons pursuit AND entirely ignores Iran's egregious human rights abuses and its financing of international terrorism, this Administration has further put America and her allies at risk by proposing the smallest missile defense budget this President has ever presented to Congress, even as missile proliferation is at an all-time high.

"While this Administration has failed so many of our allies, many of us here in Congress, including members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, which I co-chair, will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel."

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Constitution Subcommittee Chair Praises Judiciary Hearing on Obama Administration's Overreach


WASHINGTON, DC -- Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (AZ-08) today blasted the many instances of the Obama Administration overreaching their Constitutional bounds and praised today's Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter:

"Attempting to address instances of this Administration's constitutional overreach is a bit overwhelming, as it's difficult to know where to begin. Whether we're talking about Obamacare, the IRS targeting groups that disagree with the Administration, the seizure of the press' phone records by the Justice Department, the walking of guns to cartels during Operation Fast and Furious, recess apointments, the Administration's intentional selective enforcement of the laws -- volumes can and have been written addressing each of these egregious examples and more.

"This President has shown open contempt for the Constitution as a mere obstacle to his preferred 'pen and phone' method of governing through an executive autocracy.

"Much to Mr. Obama's chagrin, ours is not a government run by fiat. The American people have shown quite clearly that they will not simply roll over while this Administration seeks to undercut our founding principles. Today's Judiciary hearing on the President's abrogation of his Constitutional duties was necessary and welcome, and I appreciate Chairman Goodlatte's leadership in protecting our foundational rights."

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U.S. Congressman Trent Franks Addresses S.B. 1062 Controversy


WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee and co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus in Congress, today released the following statement regarding the recent controversy surrounding Arizona's S.B. 1062:

"If one reads only political tea leaves, the politically safe thing to do is to avoid commenting on the media frenzy surrounding the Exercise of Religion bill in Arizona. However, if one reads the text of the bill, a rational and principled response becomes an obligation in spite of the political risks, and being fully aware that my comments are certain to be twisted beyond recognition.”

"To quote a letter sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer by a bipartisan panel of legal scholars from wide-ranging political and religious backgrounds (the full text is included below as part of this statement), ‘S.B. 1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. It says that business people can assert a claim or defense under the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act in any kind of judicial proceeding (discrimination cases are not even mentioned, although they would be included), that they have the burden of proving a substantial burden on a sincere religious practice, that the government or the person suing them has the burden of proof on compelling government interest, and that the state courts in Arizona make the final decision.’”

"S.B. 1062, which weighs in at barely two pages long, is a very simple clarification of an already existing Arizona law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The legislation reaffirms the basic principle that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of life.”

“It bears careful reflection that many men and women have died in darkness so that Americans could walk in the light of religious freedom. They gave all they had because they knew that religious freedom was the cornerstone of all other freedoms. The aim of the sponsors and proponents of SB 1062 was to defend against increasing and ubiquitous efforts by the secular left to do away with religious freedom in America as they have successfully done in many other parts of the world. Rather than join an honest debate about the actual text, legal application and effect of this bill, the secular left has resorted to their primary strategy of flooding the zone with gross distortion, political intimidation, and economic extortion.”

“In America, every individual has the right to religious freedom and First Amendment expression so long as they do not deny the constitutional rights of another. True tolerance does not mean that we have no differences, it means that we are obligated as members of the human family to be kind and respectful to each other in spite of those differences."


Text of Letter to Governor Brewer from Bipartisan Panel of Legal Scholars:


Hon. Janice K. Brewer, Governor

Executive Tower

1700 West Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Dear Gov. Brewer:

SB1062, which amends Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is on your desk for signature. The bill has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics. We write because we believe that you should make your decision on the basis of accurate information.

Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.

The federal government and eighteen states have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). Another twelve or thirteen states interpret their state constitutions to provide similar protections. These laws enact a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases by courts. They say that before the government can burden a person's religious exercise, the government has to show a compelling justification.

That standard makes sense. We should not punish people for practicing their religions unless we have a very good reason. Arizona has had a RFRA for nearly fifteen years now; the federal government has had one since 1993; and RFRA's standard was the constitutional standard for the entire country from 1963 to 1990. There have been relatively few cases; if you knew little about the Arizona RFRA until the current controversy, that is because it has had no disruptive effect in Arizona. Few people had heard of the federal RFRA before the current litigation over contraception and the Affordable Care Act.

SB1062 would amend the Arizona RFRA to address two ambiguities that have been the subject of litigation under other RFRAs. It would provide that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business, and it would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion.

But nothing in the amendment would say who wins in either of these cases. The person invoking RFRA would still have to prove that he had a sincere religious belief and that state or local government was imposing a substantial burden on his exercise of that religious belief. And the government, or the person on the other side of the lawsuit, could still show that compliance with the law was necessary to serve a compelling government interest. As a business gets bigger and more impersonal, courts will become more skeptical about claims of substantial burden on the owner's exercise of religion. And as a business gets bigger, the government's claim of compelling interest will become stronger.

Arizona's RFRA, like all RFRAs, leaves resolution of these issues to the courts for two related reasons. First, it is impossible for legislatures to foresee all the potential conflicts between the diverse religious practices of the many faiths practiced in Arizona and the diverse array of regulations enacted by the state and all its agencies, counties, municipalities, and special purpose districts. And second, when passions are aroused on all sides, as they have been in this case, it becomes extraordinarily difficult for legislatures to make principled decisions about whether to make exceptions for unpopular religious practices. Courts can generally devote more time to the question, hear the evidence from both sides, and be more insulated from interest-group pressure.

So, to be clear: SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. It says that business people can assert a claim or defense under RFRA, in any kind of case (discrimination cases are not even mentioned, although they would be included), that they have the burden of proving a substantial burden on a sincere religious practice, that the government or the person suing them has the burden of proof on compelling

government interest, and that the state courts in Arizona make the final decision.

All of this is fundamentally different from the Kansas bill that has gotten so much publicity (HB2453). The Kansas bill does not enact a broadly applicable standard, give each side a chance to prove its case, and leave decisions to the courts. It enacts a specific rule about religious objections to same-sex marriages and civil unions, and it says the religious objector always wins, no matter what.

The Kansas bill appears to limit discovery for both sides. It authorizes awards of attorneys' fees against private citizens; the Arizona bill does not. Any religious objection triggers the Kansas law; it doesn't matter that a business may be so large and impersonal that there is no substantial burden on anyone's religion. Substantial burden on religion isn't required. There is no compelling interest exception, and no hardship exception; it doesn't matter if the religious objector is the only provider of some essential goods or services in a rural Kansas county. Government officials and employees are protected, and there is a hardship exception for the government. If all the employees in a government office object to serving a same-sex couple, the answer must always be that one of them has to serve that couple anyway. The Kansas bill's proposed answer is that if the government cannot serve them without undue hardship, the same-sex couple has to do without. This gets things backwards.

The problem with the Kansas bill is not that it proposes a specific rule. Carefully crafted specific exemptions can clarify the law for everyone and avoid the need to litigate the issue under the general standard of a RFRA or a state constitution. But specific exemptions for specific situations are very different from a general standard under RFRA, and it is important to recognize that difference.

The real problem with the Kansas bill is not that it proposes a specific rule, but that it proposes a very one-sided and unfair rule. We agree with Congress and a clear majority of states that government should not burden a person's religious practice without a compelling interest. But sometimes the government does have compelling interests, and then religious practices must be burdened. The Arizona bill recognizes that; the Kansas bill does not. People claiming that the two bills are similar are simply smearing the Arizona bill, disregarding the long and successful history of state and federal RFRAs, and trying to deceive you.

We should also say a word about the history of the two ambiguities in the Arizona bill. The Arizona RFRA was modeled on the federal RFRA, parts of which were copied verbatim. Language in the federal RFRA that authorizes relief against a government, inserted for reasons having to do with sovereign immunity, has been misinterpreted by a few courts to mean that RFRA cannot be a defense against a suit by a private citizen. The legislative history on how this ambiguity arose is very clear; there was never a congressional intention to preclude a RFRA defense against private citizens. This history is carefully reviewed in Shruti Chaganti, Note, Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Provides a Defense in Suits by Private Plaintiffs, 99 Va. L. Rev. 343 (2013).

Arizona copied the sovereign immunity language from the federal RFRA, and presumably had no intent to change the meaning. Defendants will assert RFRA defenses in suits by private plaintiffs whether or not you sign this bill. Without the bill, whether RFRA applies will be an additional issue for litigation; with the bill, the answer will be clear and the parties and the court can proceed to the merits. And keep in mind that these private plaintiffs may not be suing a business; they may be suing a church, a minister, a religious charity, an individual, or anyone else clearly protected by the Arizona RFRA.

If the state enacts a law that burdens someone's religion, and a private citizen sues to enforce it, the burden on religion is imposed by the state law, not by the private plaintiff. This has long been settled in constitutional law; common-law rules enforced by private plaintiffs are unconstitutional if they violate a defendant's constitutional rights. We believe that it this also the law of RFRAs. The most famous constitutional case is New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 265 (1964), protecting the First Amendment right to criticize public officials from overreach in the common law of defamation; that opinion cites earlier cases.

There is also good evidence that Congress thought businesses were covered by RFRA,

although of course that is disputed. Arizona's legislature may have taken a different view. But this too will be the subject of litigation if you veto the bill. If you sign the bill, the threshold issue will be resolved and the case will proceed to the merits.

There have been very few claims by businesses over the years, but there have been a few. It is true that some of these claims are based on objections to same-sex marriage, although that is not an issue in Arizona. The cases pending in the Supreme Court involve business owners who believe they are being asked to pay for abortions. Business regulations do not often require a business owner to violate a deeply held religious belief, but sometimes they do, and when that happens, the Arizona RFRA should be available. Keep in mind that it will not guarantee either side a win; it will test the government's claims and the religious believer's claims under RFRA's general standard.

Whatever judgment you pass on SB1062, you should not be misled by uninformed critics. The Arizona bill is fundamentally different from the Kansas bill. It resolves ambiguities that have been the subject of litigation elsewhere. It deserves your accurately informed consideration.


Very truly yours,


Prof. Mary Ann Glendon

Harvard Law School


Prof. Michael W. McConnell

Stanford Law School


Professor Thomas C. Berg


Prof. Douglas Laycock

University of Virginia School of Law


Prof. Helen M. Alvaré

George Mason University School of Law


Prof. Carl H. Esbeck

University of St. Thomas School of Law University of Missouri School of Law



Prof. Richard W. Garnett

Notre Dame Law School


Prof. Mark S. Scarberry

Pepperdine University School of Law


Robin Fretwell Wilson

University of Illinois College of Law


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Franks Expresses Condolences After Passing of Ariel Sharon


Congressman Trent Franks today released a statement in light of the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

"The United States and Israel stand together today to remember a great man, general, and prime minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. Sharon was a brave and courageous leader who loved his nation dearly, and I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing.

"Sharon's memory, lifetime dedication, and service to the Israeli people reminds all of us that we must reaffirm and strengthen those unbreakable bonds of friendship with our great ally, Israel as she faces some of the greatest challenges and threats she has ever faced in her existence as a nation.

"My prayers are with Sharon's family and children, and the people of Israel. 'May the Almighty comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.'"

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Franks Votes Against Ryan/Murray Budget Proposal


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) released the following statement regarding his "No" vote on the Ryan/Murray budget proposal:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

"It is important to recognize that there are many very positive aspects of this proposal. My colleague, Representative Paul Ryan, did a masterful job of negotiating for many very good provisions with a group -- Congressional Democrats -- that have very rarely shown even the slightest willingness to work with their Republican counterparts towards serious solutions to our fiscal problem. For starters, alleviating the shameful effects of sequestration on our Military is its best provision.

"Unfortunately, while the proposal features a number of small steps in the right direction, the overall effect is still one of increased spending for the next two years, raising user fees, and again delaying the difficult, but necessary decisions we will ultimately need to make to save our nation from the budgetary issues that threaten to destroy our nation from within unlike any military force could do. Any savings as a result of this proposal are based on the assumption that, 'We will continue to overspend for only a few more years. THEN we'll really get serious.' The unfortunate reality, as we all know, is that the overspending continues, but the agreed upon belt-tightening never seems to occur."

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Franks Introduces Bill to Recognize Jerusalem and Golan Heights, Move American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), Chairman of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, today announced the introduction of the Israel Sovereignty and Security Recognition Act (ISSRA). The bill recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the Golan Heights as Israel's sovereign land, recommends selling or repurposing the current embassy in Tel Aviv in favor of an existing location in Jerusalem, and repeals the 1995 Presidential waiver in Section 7 of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which successive Administrations have used to postpone just such a relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

According to Franks, "Given the turmoil and increasing dangers Israel faces in the Middle East, it is imperative that we affirm America’s respect for Israel's sovereignty, security and legal rights to its lands.

"The Israel Sovereignty and Security Recognition Act both recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's eternal, undivided capital and the Golan Heights as Israel's sovereign land.

"In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited after Israel was attacked by Jordan during the conflict known as the Six Day War. Since then Israel has restored and guaranteed freedom of religion and full access to holy sites for people of all faiths.

"Likewise, the Golan Heights was restored to Israel after Israel was attacked by Syria during the Six Day War, and this region remains vital and strategically indispensable to the security, well-being and continued existence of the State of Israel, allowing it to detect and defend from infiltration, attacks, and hostilities that continue to emanate from Syria.

"The bill also provides significant cost-savings because it recommends that the United States government either repurpose the current Embassy property in Tel Aviv to a consulate, or sell the property. In either instance, our Embassy would move to an existing, more modern, and more secure location in Jerusalem.  It is important to note that there is no language appropriating any funds to build a new Embassy.

"We have assisted the Jewish People in restoring their ancient state. We must act and recognize her ancient and eternal city as her undivided capital, and her rights to her lands, now and forever."

The initiative has drawn bipartisan support. Primary sponsors of the legislation include Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Representative Gene Green (R-TX), and Representative Mike McIntyre (R-NC).

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Franks: Iran Agreement is the "Definition of a Bad Deal"


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Speaking from Manila, Philippines, Congressman Trent Franks, Chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and author of the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act, reacted with alarm to President Obama’s stated agreement with Iran. According to Franks,

“In announcing this agreement, Mr. Obama said the ‘limitations…cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.’ Truly, the very definition of a bad deal is one in which Iran is not fully and unequivocally prevented from ultimately obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. And by Mr. Obama’s own admission, this plan does not entirely rule out such a scenario.

"Meanwhile, Iranian President Rouhani, who campaigned for the Iranian presidency on his record of building up Iran’s nuclear program, lauded the agreement, stating that it recognizes Iran’s ‘nuclear rights.’

“This accord amounts to Mr. Obama crossing his fingers and hoping that the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism -- which has sent hundreds of thousands of child soldiers to their deaths, has armed the militants killing Americans abroad, and has called for the destruction of both Israel and the United States -- will behave reasonably.

"The deal President Obama has described will naively leave in place Iran's ability to enrich uranium as we predicted he would. This is the gravest of mistakes. Mr. Obama's track record on foreign policy is that of one failure after another. However, in this case the error may ultimately lead to a nuclear arms capable Iran and the world stepping into the shadow of nuclear terrorism. Posterity will hold this President culpable if that occurs.

"This agreement also immediately places Israel in the most untenable of positions. Mr Obama's political determination to make a deal with Iran at any cost, even if it endangers the peace and security of our closest allies as well as our children's future, will become apparent in the long run, and history will discover that the price the world may have to pay to deal with a nuclear-armed Iran in the future will far outweigh the price we could have paid to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from gaining nuclear weapons."

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Forty House Republicans side with Obamacare Origination Clause suit


The Constitution says revenue-raising bills must originate in the House, and since the bill that became Obamacare was written in the Senate, House Republicans say that’s a problem. Led by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, 40 members of the House have signed onto a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it violates the Origination Clause because it failed to originate in the correct house of Congress. The lawsuit, filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, Calif., is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A federal judge sided in June with the Obama administration’s defense of the sweeping health-insurance law. “Given that an Origination Clause challenge against a taxing bill of this magnitude has never before been mounted, it is imperative that this Court not sanction the lower court’s superficial analysis of the Origination Clause,” said the House Republicans’ “friend-of-the-court” brief filed Nov. 8. Despite its round-one loss, the case, Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is gaining interest among Obamacare critics who see it as the last best chance to overturn the massive health-care program in the courts. “This support from members of the House is especially significant because PLF’s lawsuit defends the constitutional authority of the lower chamber, the legislative body that is closest to the people,” said Paul J. Beard II, the foundation’s principal attorney on the case. The bill that became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was originally a House bill giving housing tax credits to veterans, but the Senate deleted the language and substituted the 2,709-page health-care bill in a process known as “gut and amend.” “If the Senate can introduce the largest tax increase in American history by simply peeling off the House number from a six-page unrelated bill which does not raise taxes and pasting it on the ‘Senate Health Care Bill,’ and then claim with a straight face that the resulting bill originated in the House, in explicit contravention of the supreme law of the land, then the American ‘rule of law’ has become no rule at all,” said the brief. In her ruling against the lawsuit, District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell held that the ACA’s revenue-raising was “incidental” to its main purpose and thus was not a “bill for raising revenue” as described in the Origination Clause. Judge Howell, appointed to the court by President Obama in 2010, also ruled that the Senate had merely amended a bill that began in the House. In their brief, House Republicans disputed the judge’s reasoning, arguing the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s sleight of hand in crafting the ACA was deliberately intended to bypass the House’s authority to originate revenue bills. “What is most alarming and dangerous about this case, is that the senators knew exactly what they were doing in circumventing the Origination Clause,” said the brief. “As explained by Sen. Reid’s own ‘Senior Health Counsel’: “[B]asically, we needed a non-controversial House revenue measure to proceed to, so that is why we used the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act. It wasn’t more complicated than that.’” An earlier Obamacare lawsuit, which challenged the law’s individual mandate, was rejected by the Supreme Court in June 2012. In the 5-4 majority opinion, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the mandate was not a requirement to purchase insurance, but rather a tax. “Since the 2010 elections, the people’s immediate representatives have voted some 40 times to repeal or defund the ACA, but the senators, who sit for six years unchallenged, have never agreed,” said the House Republicans’ brief. “The Framers’ exact fear of taxation without adequate representation has materialized due to the complete disregard of the mandates of the Origination Clause by the U.S. Senate.” Mr. Franks, who is chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice, in April introduced House Resolution 153, which says the ACA violates the Constitution because it did not originate in the House. The resolution has 53 co-sponsors. The Justice Department is expected to file a response to the appeal before the end of the year. Read more: Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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Contact Information

2435 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4576
Fax 202-225-6328

Committee Assignments

Armed Services


Congressman Trent Franks is a conservative Reagan Republican, and he has spent most of his life working on children’s issues and trying to build a better future for all children.

Trent is someone who still believes that there is such a thing as the truth and that people and principles should be at the center of political discourse in America. He works very hard in the United States Congress for smaller government by cutting government waste, reducing taxes, bureaucracy, and regulation. Trent believes in personal responsibility, free enterprise and that government’s first purpose is to protect its innocent citizens.

Trent is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. While in the House, he served as Vice-Chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Child Protection and Family Preservation.

In January of 1987, Trent was appointed by the Governor to head the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, which is a Cabinet level division of the Governor’s office responsible for overseeing and coordinating state policy and programs for Arizona’s children.

Trent served four and a half years as the Executive Director of the Arizona Family Research Institute, a non-profit organization associated with Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family for the purpose of advocating public policy to protect children and families in Arizona. The Arizona Family Research Institute later became the Center for Arizona Policy.

Trent Franks is past Chairman of the Children’s Hope Scholarship Foundation and a Republican Member of The United States Congress. He currently serves on the Armed services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, and is now Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee.

He is a member of the Republican Study Committee, the House Working Group on Judicial Accountability, House Working Group on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, the Congressional Hispanic Conference, the Liberty Caucus, the DUI Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus, the India Caucus, the Refugee Caucus, and the Education Freedom Caucus.

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Paul Gosar


Matt Salmon


David Schweikert


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