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Louisiana Lawmaker Scraps Plan To Make Bible Official State Book

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AP Photo / Bouda Martin

According to The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Carmody pulled his proposal Monday night, before it could go to a full vote in the state House of Representatives. Carmody thought the whole thing had become a distraction. He initially wanted to choose a specific Bible as the official state book. Two weeks ago, though, other lawmakers amended his proposal to extend the honor to any copy of the Bible.

Legal scholars told the Times-Picayune the proposal would have been hard to challenge in court if it had been enacted.

"It's not like a government-sponsored prayer at a public meeting, or a government-sponsored religious monument in a particular place, which burdens the particular individuals who attend that meeting or frequent that place," Douglas Laycock, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia School of Law, told the the newspaper. "This would just sit there in the statute books, affecting everyone in Louisiana more or less equally. That often means that no one can challenge it in court."