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Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick to Push for Ten Commandments in Schools

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By Michael Katz  From Newsmax

Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday he intends to follow Louisiana’s lead and promote legislation to have the Ten Commandments be displayed in public school classrooms, blaming the state’s GOP House speaker for quashing a similar bill in the previous legislative session.

Republican Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday signed into law a bill that requires a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

Patrick wrote Friday in a post on X that Texas could have been the first state to pass such a bill after its Senate, over which he presides, last year advanced legislation to the House. But, he said, it was stalled by Speaker Dade Phelan, who has been criticized by conservatives for leading an effort to impeach Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Patrick, Paxton, and former President Donald Trump backed a primary challenge to Phelan, who prevailed by just 366 votes.

“Texas WOULD have been and SHOULD have been the first state in the nation to put the 10 Commandments back in our schools,” Patrick wrote. “Last session, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1515, by Sen. Phil King on April 20th and sent it over to the House, to do what Louisiana just did.

“Every Texas Republican House member would have voted for it. But SPEAKER Dade Phelan killed the bill by letting it languish in committee for a month, assuring it would never have time for a vote on the floor.

“This was inexcusable and unacceptable. Putting the Ten Commandments back into our schools was obviously not a priority for Dade Phelan. … I will pass the 10 Commandments Bill again out of the Senate next session.”

Newsmax reached out to Phelan for comment.

Opponents of the Louisiana law have vowed to file court challenges saying it violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause. But supporters are leaning on a 6-3 ruling in 2022 by the Supreme Court in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which gave a high school football coach his job back after he was disciplined over a controversy involving prayer on the field.

The majority opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch tossed out the long-held “Lemon test” used by courts to view establishment clause cases — created in the 1971 case Lemon v. Kurtzman.

“Given the apparent ‘shortcomings’ associated with Lemon’s ‘ambitiou[s],’ abstract, and ahistorical approach to the Establishment Clause — this Court long ago abandoned Lemon,” Gorsuch wrote. “In place of Lemon and the endorsement test, this Court has instructed that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted by ‘reference to historical practices and understandings.'”

Patrick wrote that Ten Commandments legislation in Texas “became legally feasible with the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Lemon test.”

“Senate Bill 1515 would require Texas public elementary and secondary schools to display the Ten Commandments in each classroom,” Patrick wrote. “SB 1515 will bring back this historical tradition of recognizing America’s heritage and remind students all across Texas of the importance of a fundamental foundation of American and Texas law: the Ten Commandments.”

Michael Katz 

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

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