Supreme Court agrees to hear Pledge appeal.

Looks the the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take hear the appeal of the controversial decision in the Michael Newdow Pledge of Allegiance case.

Yahoo! News – Supreme Court to Decide Pledge Case

“This case represents an important opportunity to put a halt to a national effort aimed at removing any religious phrase or reference from our culture,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, a law firm founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the pledge case the most controversial issue before the high court in a decade.

“Everyone’s got an opinion, informed or otherwise,” Lynn said. “The bottom line is, will we require a daily religious loyalty oath for school children?”

The administration, the girl’s school and atheist Michael Newdow all asked the Supreme Court to get involved in the case.

The court, however, agreed only to hear the appeal from the school district. The administration will be able to weigh in separately. The court also said it will consider whether Newdow had the proper legal footing to bring the case.

Justice Antonin Scalia will not take part in the case, apparently because of public remarks earlier this year critical of the lower court ruling in the pledge case. His absence sets up the possibility that the other eight justices could deadlock 4-4, a result that would allow the lower court decision to stand.

I’m very happy to hear that Scalia has opted not to participate in the ruling given his critical comments earlier on the issue. I suspect the Supreme Court will end up reversing the ruling of the lower court, but I’m hopeful they’ll end up siding with Newdow and not allow the Pledge in it’s current form to be mandated by schools. Better yet would be an overturning of the 1954 law that added the words to the Pledge in the first place. Restore it to it’s original form and there won’t be this issue to contend with.

5 thoughts on “Supreme Court agrees to hear Pledge appeal.

  1. Better yet would be an overturning of the 1954 law that added the words to the Pledge in the first place. Restore it to it’s original form and there won’t be this issue to contend with.

    My feelings exactly. I’ve thought about this one alot, and wondered why they don’t nip this in the bud by addressing just that (original vs. revised version). But I suppose they have to deal with the case at hand, the constitutiality of mandating the Pledge as it stands. I guess someone else will have to bring a case or appeal to the appropriate powers to get the Pledge restored to it’s original form. Maybe they can get it all with one fell swoop (but I doubt it) by finding that YES it is unconstitutional in it’s current form, but NO it would not be the case if we revert back to the original, so while we’re at it…

  2. The web site The Pledge of Allegiance—A Short History provides some interseting information. There have been several versions of the pledge—1892 (with one mod.), 1922 to 1923, and 1954. Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and (gasp) socialist authored the first version. The Daughters of the American Revolution sponserd the second, and the Knights of Columbus advocated the current version.

    For my part, I am much more comfortable with the 1922/1923 version. It was the one that I learned in grade school, and it somehow got us through WWII. (Fallacious reasoning—Post hoc, ergo propter hoc).

    To Brandi’s point (peripherally)—The legal process often befuddles this layman.

  3. The headline of the lead article in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch was: “Under God”…Under Review. (I didn’t put in a link because their web site is pretty muddled and you can’t view the whole article.)

    The Post observes that the case pretty much had to go to the supreme court because the 9th and 12th circuit courts rendered contradictory opinions on the matter.

    Here is their take on the legal possibilities, conditioned on Scalia abstaining. If the remaining justices tie in their vote on the 9th’s ruling, that ruling will stand, but only apply in the western states that are under the 9th’s jurisdiction. The rest of the nation would be unaffected. However, if the majority upholds the 9th’s ruling it would then apply nation wide.

  4. Supreme Court wimps out…

    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court preserved the phrase “one nation, under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling Monday that a California atheist could not challenge the patriotic oath but sidestepping the broader question of separation of church and state.

    At least for now, the decision _ which came on Flag Day _ leaves untouched the practice in which millions of schoolchildren around the country begin the day by reciting the pledge.

    The court said atheist Michael Newdow could not sue to ban the pledge from his daughter’s school and others because he did not have legal authority to speak for her.
    ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press

    Silly me I actually thought we might get some justice from the SC – what a maroon!

  5. [Quote]The court said atheist Michael Newdow could not sue to ban the pledge from his daughter’s school and others because he did not have legal authority to speak for her.[/Quote]

    I hate to say it, but in this case, the supreme court made the right decision.  With the mother having sole custody he would have had to prove that the pledge was abuse, neglect or some other form of offense in order to get this escalated, making it very difficult.

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