The legislature has approved four constitutional amendments for voters to decide on the November 2018 ballot.One amendment provides that any legislative seat becoming vacant after October 1 of the year before a regu-lar election will remain vacant.Another makes changes in the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, removing the superintendent of education from the board, establishing that congressional districts will be used for board membership, and removing the constitutional provision establishing an age limit of 70 for members of the board.Another amendment states that the Alabama Constitution recognizes and supports the sanctity of unborn life and does not protect abortion.Another, co-sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, authorizes the display of the Ten Commandments on public property, including public schools, and prohibits the use of public funds to defend the amendment in court.The latter two amendments, as legislators and particularly its sponsors know based on history, will have over-whelming support of the voters.The one addressing abortion, legislators well know, is a meaningless gesture that they hope to tout as a voter getter for themselves when re-election time rolls around. U.S. Supreme Court rulings prohibit states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, and nothing in this amendment will change that. It's just another ineffective addition to the nation's bulkiest constitution.While few Alabama voters would disagree with the commandments themselves, the only thing Ten Commandments displays on government property have brought in the past are lawsuits and negative court rulings. More can be expected once this amendment passes and some government agency decides to act on it.According to the wording of the amendment--that no public funds will be used to defend it--either the display will be immediately removed once a suit is filed or some private entity will sink funds into the losing arguments.The legislature has the power to deal with the many problems facing the state and make life better for Alabamians. Instead, time is spent on issues that generate emotion and the real issues never get solved.
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