Louisiana's creationist resolution redux

06.13.2018

Senate Concurrent Resolution 17 (PDF), introduced in the Louisiana Senate on May 29, 2018, would, if passed, have commended a former state senator "on his support and endorsement of teaching creationism in public schools."

The resolution would have honored Bill Keith, who sponsored Louisiana's Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act while serving in the state senate in 1981. The law was subsequently overturned as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987. It remains on the books, however. As NCSE previously reported, there have been three unsuccessful legislative attempts, most recently in 2016, to repeal it.

SCR 17, filed in the Second Extraordinary Session for 2018, is similar to SR 33 (PDF), filed in the Regular Session for 2018. Interestingly, though, where SR 33 claimed, "Keith's legislation did not require or allow instruction in any religious doctrine," SR 17 claims instead, "Keith courageously advocated for the view that the Biblical belief that God created the entire world and human life should be taught in Louisiana's schools." SR 33 died when the legislative session adjourned in May 2018.

Similarly, SCR 17 died when the Second Extraordinary Session adjourned on June 4, 2018. A Third Extraordinary Session convenes on June 18, 2018. The chief sponsor of SCR 17 (and of SR 33 before it) was John Milkovich (D-District 38).