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  • Supreme Court to Address "God" in Pledge

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) considers on Wednesday whether the words "under God" must be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance during its recitation in public schools, an important case on church-state separation.

    The high court will question what role religion can play in public life during an hour of arguments in a case that already has sparked a political uproar and generated widespread interest.

    The high court will examine whether a public school district policy requiring teachers to lead willing students in reciting the pledge amounts to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

    The words "under God" were added to the pledge as part of a 1954 law adopted by Congress in an effort to distinguish America's religious values and heritage from those of communism, which is atheistic.

    Millions of students every day "pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    Atheist Michael Newdow, an emergency room doctor from California who has a law degree and is acting as his own attorney, will argue the case.

    "I think that I'll be prepared," said Newdow, who has held 11 practice sessions. Newdow predicted he will win in striking "under God" from the Pledge by an 8-0 decision.

    Solicitor General Theodore Olson, the government's chief advocate before the Supreme Court, will defend the phrase "under God" as constitutional.

    PATRIOTIC OR RELIGIOUS?

    In written arguments, Olson said, "The pledge is not a prayer or other type of overt religious exercise, and its reference to 'one nation under God' is not sacred text."

    "Like singing the National Anthem or memorizing the Gettysburg Address, reciting the pledge is a patriotic, not a religious exercise," he said.

    The third lawyer arguing will be Terence Cassidy, an attorney from Sacramento who represents the local California school district.

    Before the justices determine the constitutional issues, they first must decide whether Newdow even has the legal right to bring the challenge to the school district's policy.

    Newdow filed the lawsuit because he objected to his daughter's saying the daily ritual at her school in the city of Elk Grove near Sacramento in Northern California.

    Because Newdow does not have legal custody of the girl on school days, when the pledge is recited, Olson argued the complaint should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

    Newdow said he only gets custody of his nine-year-old daughter every second weekend and she will not be in the courtroom.

    "Of course I wanted to bring her," he said. "You don't believe it would be an opportunity to see your father argue before the Supreme Court of the United States in an historic case that will last forever?"

    Another problem is the court could deadlock by a 4-4 vote as Justice Antonin Scalia (news - web sites) has removed himself from the case. Scalia earlier made critical comments about a U.S. appeals court ruling that declared the pledge unconstitutional.

    A 4-4 vote would uphold the appeals court ruling, but would not set a national precedent.

    The court's decision is due by the end of June
    Anyone care to offer predictions on the final outcome and vote?

    Me? I think it will go 4-4 upholding the Appeals Court. If Scalia didn't recuse himself, he would turn the tide in favor of the inclusion of "Under God." Not sure about O'Connor and Kennedy - knowing it will likely be 4-4, one or both may side with the liberals. I can't see Rehnquist or Thomas voting to remove the phrase.

    Moon

  • #2
    It will be removed.

    I have no doubt.
    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

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    • #3
      How soon til "In God We Trust" is removed?
      Official Sponsor of Jim Edmonds & John Smoltz

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      • #4
        Originally posted by WinstonSmith@Mar 24 2004, 08:18 AM
        It will be removed.

        I have no doubt.
        I agree.
        "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

        Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

        "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JackSparrow@Mar 24 2004, 08:27 AM
          How soon til "In God We Trust" is removed?
          Are the taxpayers willing to "foot the bill" to have all currency corrected?

          I doubt it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iowa_Card+Mar 24 2004, 08:33 AM-->
            QUOTE (Iowa_Card @ Mar 24 2004, 08:33 AM)

          • #7
            Originally posted by JackSparrow+Mar 24 2004, 08:35 AM-->
            QUOTE (JackSparrow @ Mar 24 2004, 08:35 AM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 24 2004, 08:33 AM

          • #8
            Originally posted by JackSparrow@Mar 24 2004, 08:35 AM
            Nothing would surprise me with all the fucking libs in this country.

            I am sure they want to tear down and burn churches as well.
            Yup, that's us.

            What did the appeals court rule, anyway?

            I would guess the Court will find that Newdow lacks standing.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by jhanke+Mar 24 2004, 08:41 AM-->
              QUOTE (jhanke @ Mar 24 2004, 08:41 AM)
              Originally posted by [email protected] 24 2004, 08:35 AM
              Originally posted by [email protected] 24 2004, 08:33 AM

            • #10
              He does, in my legal opinion, but that hardly matters anymore when it comes to SCOTUS.

              Its just a numbers game.

              Sparrow, what's your view on this case? Does it have legal merit? You're trained in this double-talk, legalese.

              Simplify it for us simpletons, please.
              When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by JackSparrow@Mar 24 2004, 08:47 AM
                Sorry if you take offense to that.

                I do, however, agree with what you are saying.
                Jack i do not take offence with that

                Official Sponsor of Marco Gonzales and the Productive Out!!!


                Said the Quangle Wangle Quee

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                • #12
                  again? Didn't they deal with this already? Or was that some other court of law? This thing never seems to end. It never bothered me as a kid
                  Sponsor of:
                  Brian Elliott
                  Kolten Wong & the arch in the outfield grass at Busch Stadium
                  5-29-14-House77 turns down offer of free beer from me

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                  • #13
                    I doubt they take god out of the pledge, they don't have the sack to do the right thing.
                    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by kah2523@Mar 24 2004, 08:42 AM
                      I would guess the Court will find that Newdow lacks standing.
                      Kah:

                      I'm not so sure. As most of you are aware, the Supreme Court only takes 80 or so cases per year. Rarely do they take a case and overturn it on procedural grounds such as standing. And here, we have a split in authority among the appeals courts.

                      I think they will rule on the merits and will utlimately find that the "under God" phrase viotates the establishment of religion clause.

                      Just my opinion.

                      Thanks
                      "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

                      Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

                      "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        I would guess the Court will find that Newdow lacks standing.
                        That's weak. He is still her parent, and as co-guardian, he is legally capable of bringing the case on her behalf, regardless of whether he actually has custody on the days she goes to school. In a case of this magnitude, the Court would not accept it on cert. and then dismiss for a lack of standing.

                        Moon

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