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Tenthers are probably not too happy about this, but those who actually support the Constitution are rather happy about this news. Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Thom Tillis (R-Charlotte) has announced that a bill that would allow the state to ignore the Constitution ban on state religion and claims that the Constitution only applies to the Federal Government would not be receiving a vote at all.
The decision by Tillis comes after the state got a lot of unwelcome attention from the media pointing out that the mesure was pretty much unconstitutional. The bill was drafted by state Reps Carl Ford and Harry Warren. Apparently they were responding to a suit from the ACLU objecting to a Christian prayer being said at the beginnings of meetings in violation of the First Amendment.
While the authors of the bill claims that it would not establish a state religion, the wording makes it clear that it would allow for that:
SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
The law would still not have prevented the prayer from being sued out of existence given that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution means that the First Amendment and the Courts supersedes state law. Judicial precedent based upon the Supremacy Clause has prevented similar laws from being put into effect.
Republicans have been obsessed with establishing Christianity as a state religion for several years now largely in order to try and protect their bigotries.