2022: The GOP supermajority in Indiana’s General Assembly proposes a bill prohibiting discussion of latent racism and sexism in classrooms, and allowing for lawsuits to be brought by parents who don’t know the meaning of the terms “racism,” “sexism” or “latent.” The bill dies. However, the GOP successfully does away with all prerequisites for owning and carrying firearms. The General Assembly also prohibits private businesses from inquiring into the vaccination status of their employees or patrons.
2023: A modified version of the 2022 education bill passes, this time with stiff fines added for teachers who insinuate that gender is a spectrum or that the Civil War was about slavery. Many teachers resign when the law goes into effect; others slowly trickle out as they find jobs in other states. A bill fixing the price of all new firearms at less than $100, and all ammunition at less than fifty cents a round, narrowly passes.
2024: Faced with an unprecedented teacher shortage, Indiana’s General Assembly declares the whole experiment of public education to be a failure and votes to abolish public schools altogether. A loose network of charter schools, 90% of which are operated by churches, appears to fill the void. Anyone with a high school diploma is allowed to teach K-12. To subsidize tuition at these schools, sales tax is imposed on groceries, and tollbooths are set up to collect money from motorists every 100 miles. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce effusively praises the creation of new non-union teacher and tollbooth operator jobs. A bill abolishing all restrictions on the sale of firearms passes easily. Gun sellers place vending machines in every mall and drive-thru kiosks beside every tollbooth. Mask requirements by private businesses are punished with stiff criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.
2025: A nonprofit corporation operated by Liberty University takes control of most of the cash-strapped charter schools in the state of Indiana and fires all the teachers who have ever bought birth control. Lawmakers mandate a cost-saving K-12 curriculum consisting mostly of YouTube videos on topics including marketing, auto repair, The War of Northern Aggression and how early American settlers learned to rope velociraptors. After some fierce debate, the student-teacher ratio is fixed at 100:1, and teacher pay is fixed at $2.13 per hour (plus tips). Late in the session, Indiana makes international news by becoming the first state to allow private militias to operate without prior governmental authorization. To facilitate the identification of individual militia members, a bipartisan bill outlawing the wearing of masks in public places quickly passes. A proposed exception for medical personnel dies in committee.
2026: Following months of unchecked violence between private paramilitary groups, Indiana’s General Assembly declares the whole experiment of public policing to be a failure and votes to abolish state-funded law enforcement agencies altogether. Private militias bid on contracts to enforce the law within certain territories. Joey Jones, a militia leader who claims to be the son of media personality Alex Jones, establishes the largest private paramilitary group in the state with the purpose of protecting the Amazon warehouse and company town (formerly Jeffersonville/Clarksville). The militia, called The Lord’s Fulfillment Center Army, is welcomed by the public, since raids on the warehouse by smaller paramilitary groups have delayed package deliveries by as much as two days. Vaccinations are outlawed, as is saying the word “vaccination,” since the term is considered offensive to Hoosiers infected with the no-longer-novel coronavirus.
2027: The General Assembly passes a resolution declaring June 19th to be “Amazon Protection Day,” making it a key event in Trump Pride Month. Due to the extreme wait times at all the state’s hospitals, the legislature proposes a bill that requires anyone suffering from any respiratory illness to first try ivermectin and/or hydroxychloroquine and/or eight ounces of human piss before admission to any medical facility. The bill is passed, but Governor McEnany vetoes it.
2028: The General Assembly amends the bill proposed in the previous year to mandate that a person afflicted with any illness must first attempt to use “the power of prayer” before any other treatment. The revised law passes without objection. Tepid protests take place in Indianapolis and Gary, but a bill allowing militia groups to open fire on anyone obstructing a highway or sidewalk flies through the legislature in the first week of the regular session. The new law effectively quashes any overt resistance, save for a small leftist militia calling itself the Sunflower Brigade. “Sunflowerers” armed with slingshots succeed in capturing the gift shop at Amazon State Park. After a three-day standoff with The Lord’s Fulfillment Center Army, the group is tricked into giving up their weapons in exchange for a bag of weed and a discussion guided by principles of restorative justice. They are promptly hanged. The three remaining Democrats in the General Assembly are quick to condemn the Sunflower Brigade’s violent tactics. The legislature unanimously passes a bill making the hanging retroactively legal and granting civil immunity to the hangers. As a final order of business, a law is passed requiring every citizen of the Democratic Republic of Indiana to contract COVIDs 19 through 28 within six months, either according to God’s Mysterious Plan or by appointment at an Amazon Prayer Center and Pharmacy.
2029: On the first day of the legislative session, His Exalted Holiness Ayin Adonai (formerly Joey) Jones, financially supported by the King of Michigan, surrounds the State Capitol Building in Indianapolis with armed package drones and members of a LFCA submilitia called the Tradwife Martyrs Battalion. Diplomats and their families are rescued from the roofs of neighboring buildings by helicopter gunships operated by the Walgreens Boots Alliance Armada and airlifted to safety in Chicago. Jones politely requests that a bill be passed abolishing the General Assembly and declaring Indiana a “Biblical monarchy.” The measure passes unanimously and the General Assembly disbands, making further legislative session previews unnecessary.
Dan Canon is a civil rights lawyer and law professor. His book “Pleading Out: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class” is available for preorder wherever you get your books.