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Friday, August 10, 2012

ACLU Challenges Amendment 2, But Not Because of Why You're Thinking

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Just don't try it in a Missouri jail after September 6.
  • Just don't try it in a Missouri jail after September 6.
On Tuesday, Missourians overwhelmingly voted for Amendment 2, more commonly known as the "right to pray" amendment. The amendment ensures that everybody in the state has the right to express their religious beliefs, acknowledge God in public, and pray whether they're in a school, public building or government office.

But not if they're in prison.

At the very end of the amendment's language is the clause, "but this section shall not be construed to expand the rights of prisoners in state or local custody beyond those afforded by the laws of the United States."

Which means if you're a non-confined citizen, your religious rights are protected by the Missouri Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. If you're a prisoner, you only have the religious rights granted by the U.S. Constitution, which are apparently so weak and flimsy that we needed to buy some state constitutional insurance to shore them up.

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