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My oh my, but these states’ rights loonies are spectacularly ignorant of American history!

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In a post HERE yesterday, I told you of a peculiar political initiative spawned by certain right-wing zealots in Old Dixie:

The Constitution “does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional” according to a resolution sponsored by North Carolina House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes and and ten of his fellow Republicans — a statement that puts them at odds with over 200 years of constitutional law. In light of this novel reading of the Constitution, Starnes and his allies also claim that North Carolina is free to ignore the Constitution’s ban on government endorsement of religion.

A perfect rebuttal of this nonsense was written 66 years ago by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the case of  Everson v. Board of Education:

The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.

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3 Comments

  1. Brian Opsahl

    What the good folks of North Carolina need to do is stop the inbreading look at what they are producing from their Republican poloticians…OMG are these folks dumb

  2. Craig Knauss

    Maybe that ignoramus should read Article III of the Constitution. Here is a snippet from Section 2 of Art. III:

    “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a
    State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases
    before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact,
    with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

    I’m sure there are other references there as well.

  3. Craig: There’s also the so-called Supremacy Clause in Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which reads:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

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