S. Dakota, Kentucky Legislatures Contend for “World’s Worst” Title

As several readers have reminded me, Indiana’s legislature–while admittedly embarrassing–has lots of competition for the title of “worst.” South Dakota lawmakers recently passed not one, not two, but three (inconsistent) measures to forbid abortions. One of those bills, which defines a fertilized egg as a “person,” ¬†would also outlaw most birth control. (Keep those women barefoot and pregnant!)

Lest you assume that South Dakota has wrapped up the competition, Kentucky’s legislature has also proved that it’s a contender!

Although residents of Kentucky, like the rest of us, already have religious liberty under the First Amendment, conservatives in the state legislature decided to craft a new “religious liberty” law. It will allow Kentuckians with “sincerely held” religious beliefs to disregard state laws and regulations. In Kentucky now, if a law conflicts with the tenets of your faith as you interpret them, your conscience will trump your obligation to follow the law.

Suspect that one of your employees been sleeping around? Fire the tramp. A gay couple wants to rent in one of your apartment buildings? Refuse the sinners. Disapprove of birth control? Eliminate coverage under your company’s health insurance.

Kentucky’s Governor had the good sense to veto the bill, but the legislature overruled his veto. So at least until litigation settles the matter, anyone fond of ¬†his or her civil rights might want to avoid Kentucky.

It’s hard to believe, but South Dakota and Kentucky actually make Indiana lawmakers look rational by comparison.

 

7 thoughts on “S. Dakota, Kentucky Legislatures Contend for “World’s Worst” Title

  1. If the right would leave abortion alone, and the left would leave guns alone, it would save a lot of effort and produce more freedom.

  2. LOL…Eugene…they left won’t leave guns alone.

    If the right would leave every liberal issue alone, the left would find something to use as leverage for more gun laws. Just look at what happens after any mass shooting. The mass shootings had nothing to do with abortion, so why were gun bans brought up? Because the left does not want anyone to own guns outside of the ever benevolent government.

  3. LOL…Eugene…the left won’t leave guns alone.

    If the right would leave every liberal issue alone, the left would find something to use as leverage for more gun laws. Just look at what happens after any mass shooting. The mass shootings had nothing to do with abortion, so why were gun bans brought up? Because the left does not want anyone to own guns outside of the ever benevolent government.

  4. I haven’t found the exact text of the law, but have seen this description:

    “The law will give stronger legal standing to people in court who claim the government burdened their ability to practice their religion. The legislation protects ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ from infringement unless there is ‘a compelling governmental interest.’ The courts will still consider and rule on each matter.”

    It’s claimed that this is merely a reflection of existing federal law on “religious freedom”. Don’t know about that, either. But ordinarily the decision as to whether or not to apply a particular level of scrutiny (rational basis, intermediate, strict scrutiny) has been held to be a judicial, not a legislative, function.

  5. I sincerely believe that the state should not expect any tax monies from me.

  6. Perhaps someone utters a religious opinion that you find “blasphemous”, does this Kentucky “religious liberty” law exempt you from homicide law and allow you to stone the offender to death as provided by the Old Testament/Torah? What a nightmare can of worms THAT opens.

  7. Some people need to discover on their own, all over again, that separating religion from the state just makes life easier. Maybe such an arrangement is not to everyone’s liking, but it tends to keep you out of nasty legal conundrums and keeps the peace. It doesn’t take too much imagination to appreciate the enormity of the problems. I think the rumbling noise I just heard is the sound of attorneys running to take the Kentucky bar exam. I don’t know about the quality of the Kentucky schools, but the people in that state are about to get an education.

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