Monday, June 14, 2004

We're Still Under God

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that Michael Newdow, a father who didn't want his daughter subjected to the religous "Under God" affirmation during the Pledge of Alliegence doesn't have standing in the case since he doesn't have custody of the child. Chief Justice Renquist went on to say that the Pledge (written by a Baptist minister in the late 1800's without the phrase 'Under God', which was added in 1954) doesn't violate the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of religion, arguing that banning the mention of God would somehow prohibit patriotic expressions. The Chief Justice wrote "To give the parent of such a child a sort of 'heckler's veto' over a patriotic ceremony willingly participated in by other students, simply because the Pledge of Allegiance contains the descriptive phrase 'under God,' is an unwarranted extension of the establishment clause, an extension which would have the unfortunate effect of prohibiting a commendable patriotic observance." The full decision can be found here in PDF format.


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