Lawmakers in Mississippi are proposing a bill that would reinstate prayer in schools if the Supreme Court were to overturn a 1962 decision banning such an act. It’s essentially a “trigger law” meant to go into effect as soon as the conservative justices do away with that vital brick in the wall between church and state.
You may be familiar with trigger laws when it comes to abortion. As soon as Republicans in red states realized there was a good chance the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, more than a dozen states passed anti-abortion laws designed to go into effect only if that happened. Other states already had similar laws on the books. (In Idaho, for example, a proposed law said that, 30 days after Roe is overturned, abortion providers would be guilty of a felony, “punishable by two to five years in prison,” and there would be a ban on the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy—before many women even know they’re pregnant. If Roe wasn’t overturned, the law wouldn’t go into effect.)
ssissippi lawmakers now hope to do when it comes to prayer in schools.
As it stands, state law allows public schools to have a moment of silence up to 60 seconds at the beginning of the day. Earlier this month, however, State Rep. Oscar Denton (a Democrat) proposed HB 79, which would allow “non-sectarian, non-proselytizing student-initiated prayer” over the intercom. Participation by the rest of the school would be voluntary.
Such people need not be imagined; they are real.
However, Denton’s proposed HB 79 is a prank, a spoof.