Louisiana Republican Gov Signs Bill Into Law Requiring Display of the Ten Commandments in Public Schools

AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File

Marking a first in U.S. law, Republican Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry has made it official: with the addition of his signature to a new bill, his state will now require every classroom to display a copy of the Ten Commandments from the Bible:


via the NYT:

Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation on Wednesday requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana, making the state the only one with such a mandate and reigniting the debate over how porous the boundary between church and state should be.

Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, vowed a legal fight against the law they deemed “blatantly unconstitutional.”

While signing the bill, Landry explained why it is so crucial:

If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original law giver, which was Moses.

Here are more details on the provisions of the education law:

The measure in Louisiana requires that the commandments be displayed in each classroom of every public elementary, middle and high school, as well as public college classrooms. The posters must be no smaller than 11 by 14 inches and the commandments must be “the central focus of the poster” and “in a large, easily readable font.”

It will also include a three-paragraph statement asserting that the Ten Commandments were a “prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries.”

That reflects the contention by supporters that the Ten Commandments are not purely a religious text but also a historical document, arguing that the instructions handed down by God to Moses in the Book of Exodus are a major influence on United States law.


While no lawsuits have been filed yet, progressive opponents of requiring the Ten Commandments in classrooms were quick to take a harsh tone over it being enacted:

Critics said the legislation was a clear constitutional violation. In a joint statement, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center argued that the law “violates students’ and families’ fundamental right to religious freedom.”

“Our public schools are not Sunday schools,” the statement said, “and students of all faiths, or no faith, should feel welcome in them.”

Before Wednesday's signing ceremony, Gov. Landry spoke at a Republican fundraiser on Saturday about the anticipated lawsuits--and he sounded ready for the challenge, saying, "I can’t wait to be sued."

This is a developing story. RedState will keep you in the loop on the next step from here.



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