“Restoring the ‘compelling state interest’ standard testified to the importance of the free exercise clause in the panoply of constitutional rights, and the government should be put on a short leash whenever it tries to run roughshod over the dictates of conscience.”
With both houses of our General Assembly having approved this significant measure on religious liberty, it has now been delivered to the desk of our Governor for his approval. I have personally known Nathan Deal since we were in college at Mercer University. I believe him to be a good man. His compassion for people such as those whom he has greatly assisted by reforming Georgia’s criminal justice system is apparent to all who know him.
It is my understanding that the Governor has three options. He can sign the “Free Exercise Protection Act” into law. He can do nothing and it can automatically become law in 45 days; or he can veto the legislation. If he vetoes the bill, I believe his otherwise great legacy will be greatly tarnished. If he does nothing, the bill will become law, but his neutrality in the matter will undoubtedly ignite the ire of those who oppose it and likely portray him as weak to those who approve it.
I trust the Governor will do what I suspect he will do and sign the bill and once again reveal his character and his ability as a strong leader of courage and conviction.