Fact check: No, Katie Hobbs did not vote to pull the Pledge of Allegiance or the U.S. Constitution from school
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Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, said her Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, voted on a bill that would prevent students from learning the Pledge of Allegiance, Constitution, Mayflower Compact and Declaration of Independence. These allegations were in a three-minute-long video that Lake posted to her Twitter account on Sept. 20, 2022.
“She wants to purge the pledge, anthem and Constitution from our schools,” Lake said. Did Hobbs vote against teaching students about these historical documents? The legislative record shows that she did not.
Lake said she was referring to Senate Bill 1289. The bill, which went through the Arizona legislature in 2018 and became law, amended an existing statute.
The existing language allowed teachers and school administrators to display or read the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Pledge of Allegiance, along with other documents.
SB1289 added language to the bill that would allow school staff to display historical documents that refer to God, specifically “In God we trust” and “Ditat Dues,” the state motto, which is Latin for “God enriches.”
Hobbs’ vote against this amendment did not keep students from learning about any of the previously listed documents.
“It is common in politics to try and package items so that a legislator voting against one of them is accused of voting against all,” said David Alexander Bateman, an associate professor of government at Cornell University.
Bateman added that specifically adding the references to God could raise constitutional questions about the separation of religion and state.
We reached out to the Lake campaign and did not hear back.
Kari Lake said that Katie Hobbs tried to “purge the pledge, anthem and Constitution from our schools.”
Hobbs voted against Senate Bill 1289. This bill amended existing language in a statute to include “In God we Trust” and the state motto “Ditat deus”, which means “God enriches.” Her vote would not have kept teachers from discussing other core U.S. documents.
We rate this claim False.
- Email exchange, William Weins, Arizona State University principal lecturer, School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Oct. 12, 2022.
- Email exchange, Paul Bentz, senior vice president – research and strategy, Highground Inc., Oct. 10, 2022.
- Email exchange, Charles Herf, Faculty Associate, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Oct. 9, 2022.
- Email exchange, David Alexander Bateman, associate professor of government, Cornell University, Oct. 4, 2022
- State of Arizona Senate 53rd Legislature Second Regular Session, 2018, Senate Bill 1289
- The Associated Press, AP fact-check: Lake distorts Hobbs’ education votes in Ariz., Sept. 22, 2022