Get ready for round two. Looks like Michael Newdow has managed to get a judge to declare the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional pretty much ensuring the issue will once again come before the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge’s reference to one nation “under God” violates school children’s right to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.”
Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.
Unlike last time, however, this case isn’t likely to be dismissed under a technicality as Newdow is representing three unnamed parents and their children.
Newdow hopes that will make it more likely the merits of his case will be addressed by the high court.
“All it has to do is put the pledge as it was before, and say that we are one nation, indivisible, instead of dividing us on religious basis,” Newdow told The Associated Press.
“Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, ‘We are one nation that denies God exists,’” Newdow said.
“I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, ‘Oh, what harm is that.’ They’d be furious. And that’s exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn’t.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. With the makeup of the Supreme Court about to shift somewhat it’ll be interesting to see how this ends up playing out. I wonder if we’ll have any more “spontaneous” recitations of the Pledge by a bunch of asshat congressmen this time around?