Arizona Freedom Caucus proposal to restrict religious expression on public property fails

freedom caucus

State Senator Jake Hoffman speaking with the media at a press conference for the Arizona Freedom Caucus at the Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere.

By Jessica Swarner

February 22, 2024

A bill that would ban satanic displays on public property in Arizona is dead—for now.

The Arizona Freedom Caucus, a group of Republican legislators, introduced the bill last month after a display made by The Satanic Temple was erected at the Iowa Capitol.

The bill raised legal questions, as The Satanic Temple is recognized by the federal government as an organized religion and therefore receives First Amendment protections.

The vaguely written bill also drew concerns that ASU mascot Sparky the Sun Devil could be considered a “satanic display” and banned. Jake Hoffman, leader of the caucus, amended the bill to say it would ban satanic displays from being “erected” on public property rather than just displayed.

Despite the amendment, two Republicans joined Democrats in voting the bill down on Thursday. Three senators did not vote. However, legislators have until Monday to reconsider their vote, meaning the bill could be revived next week.

Author

  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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