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A Mosaic of Options

We hear a lot of talk these days about popular anger at elites. This rage has surprised not a few of our leaders. They, including the members of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, were especially shocked by the popular revulsion at the Court’s Ten Commandments decision. We witnessed a genuine “pitchfork” moment, where ordinary people are outraged by policies imposed on them by elites and moved to loudly say so.

Many of us, though, were surprised that it took this long for people to be angry. Do people really not know what has been going on in our courts, both state and federal, for decades? One of the most stunning aspects of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision was that the Court did not need to unearth the controversial and long dormant “Blaine Amendment” provision of our state constitution which, inspired by the anti-Catholic animus common in late 19th- and early 20th-century America, forbids government from appropriating money for the support of sectarian institutions. The Court could have simply relied on the U.S. Supreme Court’s longstanding interpretation of the federal Establishment Clause.

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