It was a new way to get the monument back on government grounds after the previous one was declared illegal by the state’s Supreme Court. This particular ballot measure, Senate Joint Resolution 72, would repeal the part of the State Constitution preventing public money from being used for religious purposes.
Earlier tonight, the State House passed the same measure on a 65-7 vote.
Now, only Republican Governor Mary Fallin stands in the way… which means the resolution will almost certainly pass. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Even if voters choose to pave the way for another Ten Commandments monument to be placed on Capitol grounds, the ACLU could file another lawsuit — and they’d still win. Even though the ACLU achieved victory last time because the state’s Supreme Court agreed that the monument violated the Oklahoma Constitution, there’s no reason the ACLU can’t sue by saying it violates the U.S. Constitution.
In addition, groups like the Satanic Temple would almost immediately file applications to place their own monuments in the same general location. This is exactly what happened years ago — and the only reason there’s no Baphomet statue outside the Capitol today is because all such decisions were put on hold until the courts ruled on the ACLU lawsuit. Once the Supreme Court said these monuments were illegal, the Ten Commandments display came down and the Satanic Temple’s argument became moot.
That’s what voters will really be deciding if Fallin signs this bill. It’s not about putting the Ten Commandments up. It’s about whether they’ll willing to say hello to non-Christian Gods, too.
(Large portions of this article were published earlier)