Louisiana Committee Keeps Creationism Law Ruled Unconstitutional In 1987

On Wednesday, the Louisiana House Education Committee voted against repealing a creationism law that has been around since 1981, even though the Supreme Court struck it down in 1987.

The committee voted to remove an amendment that would have repealed the Balanced Treatment for Creation Science and Evolution Science Act, which mandates that teachers give creationism and evolution equal weight in the classroom.

One reason lawmakers have not repealed it is because they hope the Supreme Court decision will be overturned someday, according to Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education in an interview with Raw Story:

This vote is a reminder that recent battles over the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act, and dozens of similar laws introduced across the country, are part of a larger and longer battle. Today’s efforts may be less overtly religious, but only because that’s the strategy necessary to evade court scrutiny. If today’s advocates of intelligent design and ‘critical analysis of evolution’ had their druthers, they’d be passing ’80s-style equal time laws, or the sorts of outright bans on teaching evolution which brought us 1925′s Scopes trial.

The 7-2 Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard was decisive. “The preeminent purpose of the Louisiana Legislature was clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind,” the Supreme Court noted. Using careful language to avoid explicit mention of religion does not change that Louisiana is violating the separation of church and state.

While Louisiana refuses to repeal its unconstitutional law, it also killed a repeal earlier this month of the 2008 Science Education Act that permits public school teachers to use supplemental class materials that advance creationism.