Pledge of Allegiance 'Unconstitutional,' Court
The Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional
endorsement of religion and may not be recited in government schools, the
left-wing federal appeals court in San Francisco claimed Wednesday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1954
act of Congress that inserted the phrase "under God" after the
phrase "one nation" in the pledge.
The ruling, if allowed to stand, means schoolchildren
may no longer recite the pledge, at least in the nine Western states
covered by the court.
The Bush administration had argued that the religious
content of "one nation under God" is minimal. But the court said
that an atheist, non-Jew or non-Christian could see it as an endorsement
"A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is
identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are
a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or
a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral
with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for
the three-judge panel.
As Fox News Channel reported, the court is the
most far-left in the nation. Its recent rulings include inventing a
"right" for self-described Rastafarians to smoke marijuana on
Fox News analyst Sean Hannity lamented Wednesday
afternoon that such bizarre rulings are part of Bill Clinton's
legacy and have resulted because the likes of Sens. Tom Daschle and
Hillary Clinton have obstructed consideration of President
Bush's judicial nominees.
In the nation's first ruling of its kind, the appeals
court said that when President Eisenhower signed the 1954
legislation, he wrote that "millions of our school children will
daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural
schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pupil may not be
compelled to say the pledge. But the appeals panel claimed that any
classroom pledges, even if students refuse to participate, are
unconstitutional, an "unacceptable choice between participating and
"Although students cannot be forced to participate
in recitation of the pledge, the school district is nonetheless conveying
a message of state endorsement of a religious belief when it requires
public school teachers to recite, and lead the recitation of, the current
form of the pledge," the San Francisco judges fretted.
Will He Sue to Rename 'Sacramento' and 'San
Sacramento atheist Michael A. Newdow, who said
his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk
Grove Unified School District, brought the case.
"I'm an American citizen. I don't like my rights
infringed upon by my government," he said. He called the pledge a
"religious idea that certain people don't agree with."
As for the majority of people who don't agree with him,
the attitude seems to be, "Tough luck."
Is it only a matter of time before some court claims the
national motto, "In God We Trust," violates the Constitution?