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Louisiana Law Requires Display of Ten Commandments in All Classrooms

Louisiana Law Requires Display of Ten Commandments in All Classrooms
Jeff Landry, Louisiana’s Republican governor

Louisiana public schools are now mandated to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom, following the signing of House Bill 71 by Republican Governor Jeff Landry. The new law applies to all classrooms receiving state funding, from kindergarten through university level.

The legislation stipulates that the Ten Commandments must be displayed on a poster-sized document with “large, easily readable font” as the central focus. Governor Landry expressed strong support for the bill, emphasizing the historical significance of the commandments.

Opponents, including civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argue that the law violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which prohibits the government from endorsing a religion. They plan to challenge the law in court, citing longstanding Supreme Court precedent.

The bill’s author, Republican state Rep. Dodie Horton, defends the measure, stating that the Ten Commandments are foundational to legal history and will promote a “moral code” in classrooms. The law, which makes Louisiana the first state to require such displays, will take effect by 2025, although no state funding is allocated for the posters.

This move follows the 2022 Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which supported religious expression in public spaces. However, opponents highlight the religious diversity in Louisiana’s schools and insist the law is “blatantly unconstitutional.”

Similar laws have been proposed in other Republican-led states, but Louisiana’s law is expected to face significant legal challenges based on previous Supreme Court rulings against similar mandates.

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