Idaho Rep. Luker's Professional Licensing Bill Likely Illegal

Feb 5, 2014

Credit Idaho Legislature

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Boise Republican Rep. Lynn Luker's proposal to shield religious people's professional licenses from revocation is vulnerable to constitutional challenge.

On Wednesday, another Luker bill to expand legal protections for religious people who won't serve gays cleared the House State Affairs Committee, to the dismay of activists.

But his separate license measure hasn't gotten a hearing.

In his five-page analysis, Wasden cites numerous examples, including a principal who declares pork unclean — or a teacher who argues in class Idaho's divorce statutes violate canon law.

Both instances are expressions of belief that violate the U.S. Constitution's provisions forbidding government coercion to support a religion.

Here's the rub: Wasden concludes Luker's bill prevents disciplinary action against those state-licensed educators.

Contacted Wednesday, Luker said he's reviewing the analysis.