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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge Protection Act of 2004


Sponsored link.


2004-SEP-23: Congress passes bill limiting powers of U.S. Supreme Court:

AANEWS reported that the House of Representatives voted

"...to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from deciding whether the words 'under God' should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and leave such legal decisions instead to state courts.

Debate was described as 'political' and 'emotionally charged,' with Democrats accusing their GOP counterparts of debasing the constitution.  The bill, authored by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) passed 247-173. 

Rep.  Tom DeLay (R-Texas) praised the House action, telling reporters that it was a victory for those who wish to teach youngsters about the important role religious faith plays in American life.

'The words 'under God' are as much a part of the Pledge of Allegiance as the flag itself,' DeLay gushed.  'Many of those opposing the bill have made no secret of their hostility to traditional values and religion in the public square.  This law will make sure those judges can't impose their personal prejudices on the rest of us.'

DeLay added that 'State courts should be free to determine this issue without the interference of unaccountable federal judges.'

Despite the rhetoric, however, legal observers say that the bill has little chance of passage in the U.S. Senate, and would not survive a court challenge since it seeks to bypass the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, charged that [the]... vote was 'politically motivated and amounts to election-time grandstanding.'

Other critics noted that the bill touches upon emotionally divisive 'wedge' issues that fit with the tenor of the election season, including gay marriage and flag burning.

The Pledge debate, though, is unlikely to go away, even after the votes are counted in November.

In [2004] June, the U.S.  Supreme Court managed to dismiss a lower court ruling from California that found the 'under God' portion of the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional.  High Court justices claimed that the plaintiff in the case, California Atheist and physician Michael Newdow, lacked proper standing to file the suit which involved his daughter.  Newdow remains in a custody battle with the girl's mother, but has been lining up new plaintiffs to resume the constitutional challenge." 1


References:

  1. "House votes to remove 'under God' from Supreme Court scrutiny; Johnson charges political timing," AANEWS, American Atheists, at: http://www.atheists.org

How you got here:

 Home > Christianity > Prayer > School prayer > The Pledge > here

or: Home > Law menu > The Pledge > here


Copyright © 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2004-SEP-28
Latest update: 2005-SEP-19
Author: B.A. Robinson

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