Louisiana’s electorate and their elected representatives have a thing for state constitutions: they love making new ones, and then almost immediately begin willy-nilly tacking on amendments, as if they had forgotten a few things in their rush to put the seal of approval on the new document—adding amendments designed to address all issues— large, small, and sometimes even non-existent.  We are currently ruled by our eleventh constitution, adopted in 1974, which itself has been amended 214 times.
There is at least one bill in this year’s legislative session—SB 63, submitted by Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton)— that would memorialize a solution to a non-problem. The “Religious Freedoms/Liberty” amendment would “provide the right of freedom of worship in churches or other places worship is a fundamental right that is worthy of the highest order of protection.” What the “highest order of protection” entails is unclear, but one might assume that the First Amendment in the U. S. Constitution is about as high an order of legal protection could get, and one would need look no further than there.
The only issue that this might be relevant to is that of government restrictions on public gatherings in churches and everywhere else for health (such as pandemics), or other public safety concerns; but I’m sure Ms. Mizell would not risk the wellbeing of her fellow citizens for the sake of going to church for a few days. 
I am also sure Ms. Mizell is sincere about her dedication and devotion to this ideal and to her faith, but at the same time knows suggesting this vague, redundant wording to our constitution will nonetheless be well-received by her constituents, and strengthening their loyalty is lagniappe, even if the bill doesn’t advance to become the constitution’s 215th amendment.
Marty B., Ed.
April 14, 2023