Louisiana senators vote to keep unconstitutional creationism law on the books
Lawmakers in Louisiana voted overwhelmingly Monday against repealing an unconstitutional creationism statute.
State senators voted 34-5 without any debate against Senate Bill 70, which would have removed the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act from state law, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law 27 years ago, but it remains state law, although it cannot be enforced.
Only four other senators joined sponsor Dan Claitor, a Republican who is running for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District seat that is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge).
Claitor said he planned to bring the vote back for a second vote later during the legislative session.
Teacher are allowed to use outside textbooks and instructional materials under the Louisiana Science Education Act, which critics say allows creationism to be smuggled into the classroom.
Lawmakers have unsuccessfully tried to repeal that statute, and some supporters say Claitor’s bill failed because some senators confused it with the annual attempts to repeal the Science Education Act.
“Everyone was half listening and nobody read the bill,” said state Sen. Jean-Paul Morrell, a Democrat who supported SB 70. “It’s disappointing that even though people know this bill is the right thing to do … there is a lack of political will to do it.”
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