Connecticut considers regulating churches

The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill that would dictate the way the Catholic Church governs itself.  Wow.

UPDATE: After a firestorm of public outcry, the bill has been killed in committee. (Via the Corner.)

UPDATE: Rick Hills wonders what they were thinking:

The only interesting question suggested by Bill 1098 is why the CT legislature would propose a bill that would serve only to provide some lucky lawyer with some section 1988 “prevailing party” fees during a lean period for the bar. What, in short, is the political function served by an obviously unconstitutional bill? I see three conceivable explanations: (a) The CT Assembly’s leadership is actually innocent of any familiarity with simple constitutional doctrine — even the sort of doctrine that is so basic that it normally percolates into popular culture — and therefore thinks that this bill is a serious legislative proposal; (b) The CT Assembly’s leadership wants to placate some interest group with an empty gesture by proposing a bill that it knows will go nowhere but Injunctionville after it leaves the state house; or (c) The bill was introduced with the secret support of the Catholic hierarchy as a way of exciting sympathy for Catholics by a show of anti-Catholic demagoguery. Both (a) nor (b) tend to re-enforce Fred Schauer’s jaundiced view of legislatures’ interest in honoring constitutional norms, while (c) seems too kookily conspiratorial for a state legislature.

(Via Volokh.)

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