Fearing expensive litigation, a state Senate committee has derailed legislation mandating a “Ten Commandments” monument on the State Capitol grounds.
The committee acted properly. The idea of a religious monument on public property was never a good one. In several states, costly lawsuits have been fought over similar displays.
Several lawyers on the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee noted the legislation mandating a monument would require that private funds pay for it, but the state would be on the hook for defending legal challenges to it.
“It’s going to walk us right into litigation,” predicted Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, a lawyer.
While committee members were correct in blocking the bill by Rep. Patrick Williams, D-Shreveport, there are other good reasons for avoiding these sorts of displays.
After all, in a country as diverse as ours, who is to say what religious statements should be denied similar treatment?
The display of the commandments is not about educating people about the roots of law, as Williams absurdly claimed. It is about promoting religion on public property, on the public dime.
We hope we have seen the last of these kinds of pointless measures, especially when the state faces such serious practical challenges today.