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Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill declaring that the state has the power to establish an official religion — a direct challenge to the First Amendment.
One professor of politics called the measure “the verge of being neo-secessionist,” and another said it was reminiscent of how Southern states objected to the Supreme Court’s 1954 integration of public schools.
The bill says that federal courts do not have the power to decide what is constitutional, and says the state does not recognize federal court rulings that prohibit North Carolina and its schools from favoring a religion.
The bill was introduced Monday by two Republican representatives from Rowan County, north of Charlotte, and sponsored by seven other Republicans. The party controls both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature.