The anti-Catholic lawmakers in the un-Constituion State have intitiated a tactical retreat by canceling the hearing scheduled for tomoorow to discuss the legislation.
Hartford – State legislators have canceled Wednesday’s public hearing on a controversial bill that would have mandated changes in the corporate structure of parishes and institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the co-chairmen of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, and Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, said that serious questions about the constitutionality of the entire section of the state’s corporate statutes applying to religious groups – which a group of parishioners had asked lawmakers to amend – would have to be settled before a bill could be meaningfully debated in the committee.
Comically, the very folks who drafted it now say it would be inappropriate to debate because it is probably unconstitutional. Like they didn’t know that when they drafted it? Not their fault they say, Connecticut has plenty of unconstitutional laws.
“For reasons that are unclear, Connecticut has had generations-old laws on the books singling out particular religions and treating them differently from other religions in our statutes,” Lawlor and McDonald said. “That doesn’t seem right. In fact, many of our existing corporate laws dealing with particular religious groups appear to us to be unconstitutional under the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If that is correct, any changes to that law would likely also be unconstitutional.
This is a tactical retreat because the hue and cry over this bill made continuing potentially politically damaging. Rest assured, someone, somewhere, will try again, perhaps in Connecticut or perhaps somewhere else, but they will try. That is why it is imperative that we make cautionary tales out of Lawlor and McDonald. Their legislative careers must come to an end lest anyone else thinks that you can try this type of thing and get away with it.
We need to stay vigilant.