After failing in 2014 and 2016 to push through his “10 Commandments amendment,” State Senator Gerald Dial just couldn’t resist another unicorn hunt. And yesterday, the Senate obliged him. Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
Dial’s bill specifies that Alabama couldn’t use public money to defend the displays if lawsuits were filed. However, Dial says he believes lawyers will volunteer to help.
The text of Dial’s bill acknowledges that it’s already possible to display the 10 Commandments as part of a historical presentation. And, in fact, the bill specifies that state offices and schools would have to follow those guidelines. So why do we need a constitutional amendment?
This is part of the GOP supermajority’s continuing pattern of using bright shiny objects to avoid addressing the state’s real problems. Instead, we get hysterical sturm und drang over God, guns, and girl parts and stupid, time-wasting debates over making things that are either already legal somehow more legal or making things that are already illegal more illegal.
- 2015 – Wasted time in an expensive 2nd special session (required because they couldn’t pass a budget during the regular session) and banned the sale of fetal tissue – something already banned by Alabama law.
- 2016 – HB37 said that employees can’t be forced to join unions or pay union dues. That was already the case in Alabama, but legislators had to make it even more so with a constitutional amendment.
Voters have a chance to change this dynamic in 2018. Will will accept the challenge?