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Louisiana Ten Commandments Law Faces Legal Challenge

Louisiana recently enacted a law mandating the display of the Ten Commandments in all public school classrooms, making it the first state in the U.S. to do so. The legislation, signed by Governor Jeff Landry, requires the Commandments to be displayed on a poster or framed document, prominently featured in large, easily readable font. The law also specifies a state-sanctioned version of the Ten Commandments, which must be uniformly displayed across all classrooms, from elementary schools to state-funded universities.

Legal and Constitutional Challenges

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The new law has sparked significant controversy and is already facing legal challenges. Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), argue that the law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits government endorsement of a specific religion. These organizations are preparing to file a lawsuit to block the law, citing a Supreme Court precedent from the 1980 case Stone v. Graham, which struck down a similar statute in Kentucky on constitutional grounds​.

Arguments For and Against

Proponents’ Viewpoint

Supporters of the law, including Governor Landry, argue that the Ten Commandments are foundational to American law and society. They assert that the Commandments hold historical significance beyond their religious implications and claim that displaying them in classrooms respects the rule of law and promotes moral values. Governor Landry has stated, “If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses”.

Opponents’ Perspective

Opponents, on the other hand, emphasize the law’s religious nature and its potential to alienate students and families of diverse faiths or those who are non-religious. They argue that the law imposes a specific religious doctrine on a captive audience of students, which is unconstitutional and undermines the principle of religious freedom. Critics also point out that the government should not be involved in theological debates, especially given the variations in the Ten Commandments’ text among different religious denominations​.

Broader Implications

The enactment of this law comes amid a broader push by conservative lawmakers in Louisiana, who hold a supermajority in the state legislature. This conservative agenda has been facilitated by the election of Governor Landry, succeeding the two-term Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. The law reflects ongoing debates across the U.S. regarding the role of religion in public spaces and government institutions. Similar legislative efforts in other states, such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah, have faced resistance and legal challenges, but Louisiana’s success in passing this law marks a significant development in this ongoing conflict​.


The lawsuit against Louisiana’s new Ten Commandments law is poised to become a landmark case in the ongoing debate over the separation of church and state. The outcome will have significant implications not only for Louisiana but also for similar legislative efforts across the country. As the legal battle unfolds, it will test the boundaries of religious freedom and government endorsement of religion in public education.


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