The legislation, House Joint Resolution 494, filed Monday by two GOP legislators and co-signed by 12 others, says the Supreme Court cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” But on Thursday, House Speaker Thom Tillis’ said the resolution was dead, according to WRAL.
The bill was initially filed in response to a lawsuit filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, which, the ACLU said, opened 97 percent of its meetings in 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers. Filing the lawsuit on behalf of three residents, the ACLU wrote in a press release, “the commissioners, who deliver the prayers themselves, routinely call on Jesus Christ and refer to other sectarian beliefs during invocations.” …
The crux of the resolution lay in the 10th Amendment, which leaves to the states powers not explicitly given to the federal government in the Constitution. In recent years states have used this “nullification” argument in attempts to defy federal laws and Supreme Court rulings, most recently about gun control and the Affordable Care Act.
The bill wouldn’t have actually created a religion. But it would have made an argument that they could. And the bridge between arguing and doing is key.