Arguing that a two-judge majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit "plainly erred" in declaring the voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the public schools unconstitutional, the Center for Individual Freedom filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to reverse the lower courts judgment and restore the constitutionality of our official Pledge of Allegiance nationwide.
More than a year ago, a divided panel of the 9th Circuit ruled that a public school districts policy of daily voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because of the inclusion of the phrase "one Nation under God." The decision "shocked the constitutional conscience and common sense of the country," the Centers brief notes.
"For the past half century, a countless number of people of all ages have pledge[d] 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," the brief explains. "They have done so patriotically, respectfully, solemnly, voluntarily, and, according to the opinions of this Court and its Justices, constitutionally," the brief adds.
The Center argues that the "fundamental flaw" in the 9th Circuits decision is its "unsupported assumption that voluntary recitation of the Pledge, including the phrase one Nation under God, by children in the public schools constitutes a religious exercise forbidden by the Establishment Clause." Specifically, the brief explains that while "the Pledge is most certainly a powerful expression of patriotism and respect for this country and its primary symbol, neither the Pledge itself nor its voluntary recitation constitutes a religious exercise proscribed by the First Amendment." Moreover, the brief urges the Court to overturn the 9th Circuits ruling because it is "the very essence of a relentless and all-pervasive attempt to exclude religion from every aspect of public life that itself is inconsistent with the Constitution."
The case, Elk Grove School Unified School District v. Newdow, No. 02-1624, will be argued before the justices sometime this spring, with a decision expected before the end of the Courts term in June or July.
To download a copy of the Centers brief in the Pledge of Allegiance case, click here.
The staff of the Center for Individual Freedom worked tirelessly to prepare this brief protecting the rights of all Americans who believe, as we do, that the liberal attacks on our constitutional rights and common sense must stop. If you would like to support the Centers future efforts to stop the liberals dead in their tracks, please click here.December 19, 2003
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