A Cautious Man
June 14, 2004
Some Folks are Born Made to Wave the Flag
A little good news/bad news on the Pledge of Allegiance front. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Ninth Circuit declaring that reciting "under God" as part of the pledge violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Court's decision was based on standing, however. That is, they decided that the plaintiff, Michael Newdow, did not actually have a legal right to represent the interests of his daughter (who lives with her mother, who has sole legal custody). That leaves the substantive issue to another day.
But the good news, as pointed out by No More Mister Nice Blog, is that this removes the pledge as an "election-year wedge issue". The bad news, as noticed by Mr. Balkin at Balkinization, is the intimation in the concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas that the Establishment Clause should not apply to the states.
I'd be more worried about the implications of the Thomas view of the law, than about whether the pledge includes "under God".