Thursday, February 23, 2006

Establishment clause = federal govt

Interesting legal question:  Do federal courts have jurisdiction over state legislatures and state governments?  Specifically, if a state legislature wants to have a prayer to start sessions, and that prayer is specifically Christian in nature, does a federal court have the authority to say that they can’t do it because of church and state?  A federal district court decision ruled that the Indiana Legislature couldn’t do it.

If the state government wants to put the 10 commandments on it’s lawn, isn’t that a state issue, not a federal one?
Isn’t the clause of the constitution preventing the government from promoting a religion specifically referring to the national government, not the states?  Shouldn’t the states own constitutions handle that sort of thing?  What writings from the founding fathers would refute this argument or support it?

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