Louisiana Governor Sparks Legal FIRESTORM After Putting This School MANDATE In Place...

By Alan Hume | Thursday, 20 June 2024 10:15 PM
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Image Credit : Rolling Stone Magazine

In a bold move that has sparked controversy, Louisiana's Republican Governor Jeff Landry has signed into law a bill that mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in the state.

This decision, as reported by The Independent, has positioned Louisiana as the first state in the U.S. to implement such a requirement.

"I'm going home to sign a bill that places the Ten Commandments in public classrooms," Governor Landry declared at a recent GOP fundraiser in Tennessee. He added, "I can't wait to be sued." His comments reflect a readiness to engage in legal battles over this contentious issue.

This move by Governor Landry is seen as a challenge to previous Supreme Court rulings that upheld the separation of church and state. Over three decades ago, a similar state law in Kentucky was struck down by the justices on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment's prohibition against any laws "respecting an establishment of religion." In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the public display of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky county courthouses was similarly unconstitutional.

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However, conservative legal groups have been seeking an opportunity to overturn these rulings. They view the Louisiana legislation as a potential catalyst for this change. This perspective is not shared by all, with the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups issuing a joint statement warning against the legislation. "Our public schools are not Sunday schools, and students of all faiths – or no faith – should feel welcome in them," they asserted.

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The new law stipulates that the Ten Commandments must be displayed in a "poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches" and in "a large, easily readable font." It also necessitates a 200-word "context statement" arguing that the Ten Commandments were "a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries" up until 50 years ago.

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This is not the first time Louisiana's GOP-controlled state legislature has passed legislation of this nature. Last year, a similar measure was enacted that requires "In God We Trust" to be displayed in all public school classrooms. Other states, such as Texas, South Carolina, and Utah, have also attempted to pass similar legislation.

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This surge in state-level legislation follows the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that allowed a high school football coach to pray with his team on the 50-yard line, a decision that some argue has loosened interpretations of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

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However, not everyone is in favor of these changes. A group of Christian leaders and churchgoers in Louisiana have voiced their opposition, stating that the state "has no business choosing an official version of the Ten Commandments, especially one that strips the text of its theological context." They further argued that the state should not mandate "this officially sanctioned version of the Ten Commandments be hung in every public school classroom, where teachers educate students who follow a broad array of Christian and non-Christian faith traditions."

As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how this new law will impact Louisiana's public education system and whether Governor Landry's office will respond to requests for comment.

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