Lawmaker closes book on Bible as state book, pulled from debate
BATON ROUGE- The Bible won't be the official book of the state since the lawmaker who was pushing the move walked away from it during Monday's meeting of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
WBRZ News 2 reporter Ryan Naquin was first to report on Twitter that Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody dropped his legislation. He said it "causes a constitutional problem that could not be overcome." Carmody added, lawmakers had told him they were worried the bill was becoming a distraction from more important debates, like on the state budget.
During the session Monday, Carmody called out other legislators for defeating his bill before it was debated, saying amendments made his bill unconstitutional.
"The original bill was amended in committee. So that it now caused a constitutional problem that really did not appear to be able to overcome," Carmody said to his colleagues.
Carmody wanted to make a specific Bible the official book, the Johannes Prevel version, which is the oldest copy in the Louisiana University Museum system. A House committee changed the official book to the broader term 'Holy Bible'.
Carmody's fellow lawmakers applauded the representative's decision to pull back his bill.
"If this bill had continued to be heard and passed, I think Louisiana would have been liable for a lawsuit," Representative Barbara Norton said. "I don't think he had the votes. He didn't have this vote."