Wow, Busy News Day — and the Day’s Only Half Over

Supreme CourtWell, whaddaya know. The Supremes are gonna review the Pledge of Allegiance case after all. I figure this is another one they just couldn’t avoid: The fundamentalists are screaming about the Ninth Circuit’s original ruling, which — unless the high court reviewed the case — would have stood, at least in the western states.

Of course, I can’t say I’m too optimistic about the outcome. Speaking strictly rationally, there’s no legal case to be made for the inclusion of “under God” in the Pledge. None whatsoever — the phrase was inserted back in 1954 expressly to promote religion in the face of “godless communism”; can’t claim “ceremonial deism” on this one. On the other hand, being the good, right-wing folks that they are, the justices won’t want to admit that fact. In all likelihood, I’d bet they’ll throw the case out on procedural grounds, most probably claiming that Newdow, the plaintiff in the case, doesn’t have standing to bring the case, since he’s not the “custodial parent” of the child at issue (although that appears to be indeterminate right now). Which may be true, but it’s dodging the issue. And even if the court should rule correctly, they’ll probably try to weasel their way into making the ruling “non-precedent-setting,” although I’d suspect that — as in the California recall case — somebody will call them on it soon enough.

To tell you the truth, I’ve often thought of bringing a similar suit, but reality has interceded — I have neither the time nor the money to pursue the case, not to mention the toll on my family. It wouldn’t be fair to my daughters to drag them through this. But still, should a miracle occur, and the court make a decision based on logic and the Constitution — rather than their right-wing superiors’ wishes — I will be breaking out the champagne.


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