(via Jeff G at Protein Wisdom)
Supreme Court Decides Pledge Case on Technicality
By James Vicini
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that California atheist Michael Newdow lacked the right to bring a constitutional challenge to the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, avoiding a decision on the key church-state issue.
By an 8-0 vote, the justices overturned a controversial decision by a U.S. appeals court in California that reciting the phrase amounted to a violation of church-state separation.
The ruling by the justices was based on the technicality that Newdow could not bring the case before the court because he did not have legal control over his daughter, on whose behalf he was arguing.
I kind of figured they would punt on this one. As Bill from INDC stated in the comments at Protein Wisdom- "Regardless of the potential outcome, they chickened out. I certainly would have liked to have read the justification for "under God" in the event of an affirmative ruling ... following that situational logic would have been like sniffing hairspray from a paper bag."
Under God is a religious term. Therefore, requiring someone to recite the pledge of allegiance, which refers to a God in the text (despite the fact that the original author of the text, who was a minister, didn't include "God" in the text)would be the government establishing religion. Not a religion, but RELIGION period.
Once again, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Not "a" religion but religion period. The current version of the pledge clearly violates the 1st amendment.
We cannot strive to promote democracy in the middle east where Islamic theocracy reigns supreme if we can't maintain our own commitment to seperation of church and state.