Indiana revives old interposition law

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In the 1950s, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided that segregated schools were unconstitutional, a number of Southern states attempted to revive the doctrine of interposition. That doctrine has it that a state has the right to interpose itself between its citizens and actions of the federal government that the state’s legislature and governor oppose, thus nullify such actions.

The Republican Legislature of Indiana with the enthusiastic support of Gov. Pence has now attempted to make it legal in our state for people to interpose their religious beliefs between themselves and other citizens of the state, thereby denying the civil rights of the latter. Despite the assurances of the people responsible for passing the legislation that it does not legalize discrimination, that was the reason the opponents of equal rights for all sought the legislation, and it does, in fact, do so under its plain meaning.

Religious beliefs come in a variety of flavors and religion-based hatred is not unheard of today.

Nevertheless, as matters now stand in Indiana, the New Interposition will reign after the RFRA takes effect on July 1. A person’s religious views, no matter how extreme, will trump the civil rights of everyone else.


Sidney Mishkin

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