God help us all…

This just in:

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was declared unconstitutional Wednesday by a federal judge ruling in the second attempt by an atheist to have the pledge removed from classrooms. The man lost his previous battle 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.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of.

Newdow, an attorney and a medical doctor, filed an identical case on behalf of three unnamed parents and their children. Karlton said those families have the right to sue.

Karlton, ruling in Sacramento, said he would sign a restraining order preventing the recitation of the pledge at the Elk Grove Unified, Rio Linda and Elverta Joint Elementary school districts, where the plaintiffs’ children attend.

The decision sets up another showdown over the pledge in schools.

The Becket Fund, a religious rights group that is a party to the case, said it would immediately appeal the case to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the court does not change its precedent, the group would go to the Supreme Court.

“It’s a way to get this issue to the Supreme Court for a final decision to be made,” said fund attorney Jared Leland.

Newdow, reached at his home, was not immediately prepared to comment. ”



  1. Bill Simon says:

    The reference to “under God” has only been in the Pledge since 1952. It was not part of the “founding documents” of this country, nor was it contained within the Constitution.

    All the arguments I’ve heard from Michael Newdow are very well-articulated and based on solid evidence. All the arguments I’ve ever heard from Sean “Whiny Wuss” Hannity appear to be based only on HIS opinion of how the world should be, as well as statements regarding what “the majority of people in America think.”

    I think the USSC is going to have a damn tough time defending the use of the “under God” phrase as being in accordance with U.S. Constitutional law. It was put in in the early 1950s to declare to the world that we abhored Communism, and that’s all.

    Communism is no longer a threat to the U.S., but religious fanaticism IS. Would Silence and Sean wish to have the pledge state “under Allah” if the majority of Americans followed the Islamic faith? If they believe this country was founded on the Rule of Law, and if they wished to have the 1st Amendment to the Constitution interpreted to mean that “whatever the majority religion wants in America, the majority religion gets in America,” then, come 100 or 1000 years down the road, when the majority flips to some other religion, then that majority will decide how they want the Pledge to read…to the detriment of the minority religions of the U.S.

    Peace on.

  2. Rusty says:

    There’s a part of me that thinks it’d be funny (in a “while I was cleaning my guns” sort of way) if the Protestant theocrats got their wish and Congress let religion into the Constitution. About the time that fight is “won” would be the time when the majority of this country is composed of Hispanics. Most Hispanics are Catholic. So the Protestants must just be fighting to kiss the Pope’s foot. That thought makes me laugh often.

  3. Rusty says:

    Oh, and you can read my thoughts on the Pledge here. I find it supremely ironic that so-called “conservatives” want to fight so hard for a diddy conjured up by a socialist to pledge blind allegiance to the government. These so-called conservatives prove more every day they’d be right at home in China and the old U.S.S.R.

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