Tuesday, June 15, 2004


The Supreme Court remains seemingly agnostic on the issue of "under God" in the pledge as they toss the case out on a technicality:
All eight justices who took part in the case agreed that the federal appeals court in California ruled incorrectly last year when it held, in a lawsuit brought against a local school district by the atheist father of a kindergarten student, that the reference to God turned the daily recitation of the pledge into a religious exercise that violated the separation of church and state.

But in voting to overturn that decision, only three of the justices expressed a view on the merits of the case. With each providing a somewhat different analysis, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Clarence Thomas all said the pledge as revised by Congress exactly 50 years ago was constitutional....

The other five justices, in an opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, said that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit should not have decided the case because the plaintiff, Dr. Michael A. Newdow, lacked standing to bring it.

It's a symbolic issue, yes, but as my professor Clyde Wilson always says, symbolic issues in politics are the most important, the most telling.

Of course my real issue with the pledge is the "indivisible" part.

[Update: Susanna at cotb thinks the NYT has an agenda in its coverage of the Pledge case. I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!]

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