Monday, June 14, 2004

Pledging on Flag Day 

The Supreme Court chose Flag Day to announce that they were dismissing Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow on the grounds that Michael Newdow had no standing to bring suit. While the court did not pass on the question of the constitutionality of the phrase "under God" which was added to the pledge of allegiance during the McCarthy-era efforts to root out and isolate "godless communists," Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote a separate concurrence, joined by Justices O'Connor and Thomas, to state the nonbinding opinion that the added phrase does not violate constitutional separation of church and state.

Newdow, who brought the case on behalf of his daughter, is involved in a long-standing custody dispute and has 10 days per month visitation. The court determined that this was not sufficient custody, and Justice Stevens wrote in the opinion that given the state of flux of the situation it is best for the court to stay out of the constitutional issue.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:14 AM