POLITICS
11/27/2012 11:42 am ET

Clayton Fiscus, Montana GOP Lawmaker, Wants Bill Requiring Teaching Of Intelligent Design

Montana state Rep. Clayton Fiscus (R) hasn't even been sworn into office yet, but he's already made clear that he'd like to work on a bill that would require the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution when he officially goes to work at the state Capitol.

The National Center for Science Education reported this week that Fiscus had submitted a request for a draft of the legislation as one of his first orders of business.

The measure, which broadly plans to "require public schools to teach intelligent design along with evolution," will now be drafted and considered by the legislature when it goes into session next year.

As the NCSE points out, the issue of teaching intelligent design in public school has already been settled in Kitzmiller v. Dover, a 2005 federal case that found the theory to be a form of creationism. The teaching of such a religious-based theory in public schools would violate the separation of church and state.

Fiscus has also filed additional legislative requests, though the others concern more innocuous topics such as parks, highways and taxes.

And he isn't the only incoming lawmaker to float a controversial request shortly after securing election. Republican state Rep. Jerry O'Neil asked the Montana Office of Legislative Services earlier this month if he could be paid his monthly salary of $1,800 in gold coins due to his concerns about the strength of the dollar. The office didn't immediately respond to his request.

John Celock contributed reporting to this piece.

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