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God Wins In Court

Secularists have been pretty successful at removing God from public life by using the court system, so it's refreshing to see God win a round every now and again...

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court preserved the phrase "one nation, under God," in the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling Monday that a California atheist could not challenge the patriotic oath but sidestepping the broader question of separation of church and state.

At least for now, the decision - which came on Flag Day - leaves untouched the practice in which millions of schoolchildren around the country begin the day by reciting the pledge.

The court said atheist Michael Newdow could not sue to ban the pledge from his daughter's school and others because he did not have legal authority to speak for her.

Newdow is in a protracted custody fight with the girl's mother. He does not have sufficient custody of the child to qualify as her legal representative, the court said. Eight justices voted to reverse a lower court ruling in Newdow's favor.

... The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the court "ducked this constitutional issue today," and that students "should not feel compelled by school officials to subscribe to a particular religious belief in order to show love of country."

On the other side, the American Center for Law and Justice said the ruling removes a cloud from the pledge.

"While the court did not address the merits of the case, it is clear that the Pledge of Allegiance and the words 'under God' can continue to be recited by students across America," said Jay Sekulow, the group's chief counsel.

They're both right; it's a less that satisfying solution for both sides. The Supremes ducked the issue at hand and maintained the status quo by focusing on Newdow's standing.


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» Slant Point linked with "One Nation, Under God..."

» MuD & PHuD linked with Thank God...For Now

Comments (3)

In a very limited technical... (Below threshold)

In a very limited technical sense, "under God" probably should not be in the pledge ... but this particular secularist thinks there are more important issues than quibbling about "under God."

--|PW|--

God got a draw this round.<... (Below threshold)
adaplant:

God got a draw this round.

That's interesting... the v... (Below threshold)

That's interesting... the version I read this morning said that Renquist agreed with the decision to punt, but also wrote a separate opinion affirming that "Under God" was Constitutional. O'Connor and Thomas signed it. And if you count Scalia who recused himself this time, that's 4 justices that affirmed "Under God" as constitutional.

But later news articles aren't talking about the separate opinion....




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