Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Establishment of stupidity

They have some real live wires on the 9th Circuit. They proved it with the shocking decision that the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is un-Constitutional.

From the decision:
Newdow does not allege that his daughter’s teacher or school district requires his daughter to participate in reciting the Pledge.3 Rather, he claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to “watch and listen as her state employed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our’s [sic] is ‘one nation under God.’ ”.....Newdow asks the district court to order the President of the United States (“the President”) to “alter, modify or repeal” the Pledge by removing the words “under God”; and to order the United States Congress (“Congress”) “immediately to act to remove the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge.”
As I understand it, the court did not recognize any injury to the plaintiff.

Children are soooo sensitive, you know:
the mere fact that a pupil is required to listen every day to the statement “one nation under God” has a coercive effect.
But this might backfire - the teaching of evolution must surely be coercive to religious kids, whether done in a science class or not. That's because the Establishment Clause cuts both ways - from the same decision:
The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person’s standing in the political community. Government can run afoul of that prohibition in two principal ways. One is excessive entanglement with religious institutions . . . . The second and more direct infringement is government endorsement or disapproval of religion.[italics mine]
I am not an attorney by any stretch of the imagination, but I noticed this:
Newdow has standing as a parent to challenge a practice that interferes with his right to direct the religious education of his daughter.
Does this mean that the 9th Circuit is recognizing atheism as a religion? If so, maybe they've finally done something right.

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