Speaker Thom Tillis said Friday the ill-fated and embarrassing “religion resolution” filed in the House this week was “well-intentioned” BUT it had “lots of technical problems – not the least of which was one of the provisions was unconstitutional.”
Tillis, speaking on Bill LuMaye’s program on WPTF radio, said there are better ways to accomplish what the resolution’s primary sponsors were trying to do, which was express support for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners in their lawsuit with the ACLU over saying a Christian prayer at the beginning of each meeting.
It was the proposed resolution’s contention that individual states can make their own laws about establishing religion, even though the U.S. Constitution prevents Congress from doing that. The concept of “nullification” – that states can nullify federal laws they find unconstitutional – has never been upheld in court.
Word spread quickly and soon the resolution was the butt of jokes by national political media, with overtones of Southern successionism.
Tillis’ office on Thursday let it be known that the resolution was dead. One of its primary sponsors, Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican from Salisbury, told the Salisbury Post newspaper Thursday that it was poorly written and he apologized for embarrassing the state.
Warren said the resolution was written by a Kings Mountain city councilman, Keith Miller. Rep. Carl Ford, a Republican from China Grove, was the other primary co-sponsor. A dozen other Republican representatives signed on to the resolution, including Republican Majority Leader Rep. Edgar Starnes of Hickory.
Earlier in Friday's radio program Tillis made a point of saying he doesn't necessarily see bills until the day they are filed.