by Max Brantley
Rep. Steve Harrelson previews the review of proposed constitutional amendments. As I mentioned earlier, proposals to allow the state to become an investor in private businesses and to loosen interest limits seem likely to emerge from the process.
Harrelson notes that he's urging Democrats to reject Green Party Rep. Richard Carroll's proposal to remove archaic language from the Constitution that discriminates against atheists. Such measures have already been ruled unconstitutional, Harrelson notes, and why give political opponents an opportunity to say you're soft on atheists?
The same argument was made -- but thankfully it didn't prevail -- back when the legislature decided to strip the Constitution of court-invalidated segregationist provisions. Though some thought it pointless, the amendment was put on the ballot and voters approved it, narrowly. The symbolism was important. So it is with Carroll's proposal.