Louisiana to become 1st state to require Ten Commandments be displayed in schools if governor signs bill

Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that could make the state the first to require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all schools and colleges that receive public funding.Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, still needs to sign the new bill into law for Louisiana to make history as the first state with such a requirement.The bill, introduced by GOP state Rep. Dodie Horton, states that the text of the Ten Commandments must be printed in classrooms on a poster no smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches and must be “the central focus” of the poster.Other states, including Texas, South Carolina and Utah, recently attempted to approve similar legislation, according to Axios. Those states began pushing the legislation after Supreme Court rulings in cases like Kennedy v. Bremerton School District suggested a looser interpretation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which prohibits state-sponsored religion.LOUISIANA CLASSIFIES ABORTION DRUGS AS CONTROLLED, DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES AFTER GOV. LANDRY GREENLIGHTS PROPOSALThe Louisiana bill, HB 71, was given final approval Tuesday evening, when the state House passed it by a 79-16 vote, with only Democrats voting against the legislation. The Senate passed the bill earlier this month.Horton said before the House in April that the commandments are the basis of all laws in Louisiana.”I hope and I pray that Louisiana is the first state to allow moral code to be placed back in the classrooms,” she said at the time. “Since I was in kindergarten [at a private school], it was always on the wall. I learned there was a god, and I knew to honor him and his laws.”HB 71 is expected to face legal challenges over First Amendment concerns.”We learned the Ten commandments when we went to Sunday school,” Democrat state Sen. Royce Duplessis previously told WWLTV. “As I said on the Senate floor, if you want your kids to learn the Ten Commandments, you can take them to church.”LOUISIANA BILL TO CASTRATE SEX OFFENDERS MOVING TOWARD GOVERNOR’S DESK FOR SIGNATURECivil rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center previously issued a joint statement criticizing the legislation.”This bill is unconstitutional,” the statement said. “The state may not require public schools to display the Ten Commandments in classrooms. Many faith-based and civil-rights organizations oppose this measure because it violates students’ and families’ fundamental right to religious freedom.””Our public schools are not Sunday schools, and students of all faiths—or no faith—should feel welcome in them,” the statement added.
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