Louisiana requires displaying the Ten Commandments in class, hoping to pave the way for other states

Louisiana became, on Wednesday June 19, the first American state to impose that the Decalogue be displayed in public classrooms. A law was in fact promulgated by the Republican governor, Jeff Landry. It concerns all public educational establishments, from kindergarten to university.

The law “leaves establishments until 1er January to display the ten commandments (…) received by the prophet Moses in the Bible”, precise The Washington Post.

The Republicans in power in this Southern state celebrate in this text “a way to bring history, culture and traditions into the classroom”, reports the local site Nevertheless, “legal action is already being prepared”, underlines the media from its title. The American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu) has in fact announced that it will go to court with other organizations, judging that the text is “blatantly unconstitutional” And “violates the separation of church and state”.

The Supreme Court in its sights

Governor Landry expected it. During a speech on Saturday, he even assured that he had “looking forward to being sued”. “This law is part of a campaign by conservative Christian groups who want the faith to be expressed more in public. They provoke disputes that can go all the way to the Supreme Court, where they count on a more favorable reception than in previous years,” explain The New York Times.

Recent decisions have given them hope, particularly in 2022, “when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a high school football coach, who defended his constitutional right to pray on the center line after his team’s games.”

Other states are waiting

“I think they are too presumptuous,” nevertheless believes Charles Haynes, a lawyer and member of the Freedom Forum, an association which defends the freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution, particularly in matters of religion. According to him, “even these judges (with a conservative majority) will have a hard time justifying” the text adopted in Louisiana.

In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a Kentucky law which also sought to impose the display of the Ten Commandments, recalls The Washington Post.

“Similar bills on the Ten Commandments in institutions have been filed (…) in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina,” adds the capital newspaper. Local Republican elected officials have proposed “other initiatives that blur the line between Church and State in recent years”.

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