[JURIST] More than 100 congressmen on Thursday backed a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would protect more religious expression on public property. The steps are being taken to reverse the holding in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky [opinion; JURIST report] in which the US Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in courthouses. Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) [official website] and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) announced [press release] the so-called Religious Freedom Amendment, backed by 104 Republicans and 5 Democrats in the House, reading as follows:
To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience:The proposed amendment, Thursday's House measure to cut federal funding for development projects involving the seizure of private property [JURIST report], and the recent judicial review legislation prompted by the Terri Schiavo case [JURIST report] highlight a growing discontent among conservatives with regard to the actions of the federal judiciary. CNS has more.
--The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools.
--The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity