Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pledges to pass Ten Commandments bill after Louisiana passes similar law

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pledging to pass a bill that would require public school and college classrooms to display the Ten Commandments, days after a similar Louisiana measure became law. 

In a social media post, Patrick criticized Texas state House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, for killing a state Senate bill that would have required the display of the Ten Commandments in schools. On Thursday, he vowed to bring the measure back. 

"SB 1515 will bring back this historical tradition of recognizing America’s heritage, and remind students all across Texas of the importance of a fundamental foundation of American and Texas law: the Ten Commandments," Patrick wrote on X. "Putting the Ten Commandments back into our schools was obviously not a priority for Dade Phelan."

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The bill would require Texas public elementary and secondary schools to display the Ten Commandments in each classroom. No requirement is currently in place.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Phelan's office. 

Phelan and Patrick had feuded after Patrick presided over the impeachment trial this year of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. 

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"Texas WOULD have been and SHOULD have been the first state in the nation to put the 10 Commandments back in our schools," Patrick wrote on X. "But, SPEAKER Dade Phelan killed the bill by letting it languish in committee for a month assuring it would never have time for a vote on the floor." 

This week, Louisiana became the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public school classrooms. The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups said they plan to challenge the law. 

Notre Dame Law School Professor Richard W. Garnett, who is the director of the school’s Program on Church, State & Society, said it is likely several states will make efforts to mirror Louisiana. 

"It remains to be seen whether these kinds of measures are permissible," he told Fox News Digital. "The Supreme Court's doctrine has changed in some areas, but it hasn't changed in all areas."

A key question for the high court will be whether a display like the Ten Commandments "has a coercive effect" on children given their age and that it's in a classroom setting, Garnett said. 

He noted that challengers of such laws will most likely point out that the U.S. is a religiously diverse nation and that public schools are run by the government for a "pluralistic people" despite the country's founding being inspired by some individuals' Christian convictions. 

In a joint statement announcing their opposition to Louisiana's law, the ACLU and civil rights groups noted that religion is a private matter.

"The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government," the statement said. "Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools."

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