Monday, June 14, 2004


Supreme Court Preserves 'God' in Pledge

I should be happy; the pledge doesn't impact my life, while the fate of John Kerry's bid for the presidency does, and a ruling against the pledge would surely hurt Kerry as Bush comes out swinging for God. But I can't help feeling disappointed in the Court. To dismiss a case of such controversy and importance on a technicality--that Michael Newdow's complicated custody status vis-a-vis the child whose pledging the case concerned meant that he lacked standing to bring the case--is the kind of "prudence" that usually goes by another name: cowardice.

Perhaps Breyer and Ginsburg and Stevens and Souter felt that pouncing on the opportunity to decide such an important case without Scalia would be in bad form; perhaps they, like me, believe excising two words from the pledge could cut two points--or more--from John Kerry's support in November, and they want to retire under a Democrat. At least I can revel in this: only three justices put their names to the separate opinion that the words "under God" are constitutional. That means that five didn't. And that means that, one day, this is a winnable fight.


Richard said...
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Richard said...

By the way, today's ruling is further proof that judges pay attention to all sorts of factors when they hand down a decision. Do you think it was a coincidence that they ruled on the pledge case on Flag Day? Just like the Massachusetts court wanted gay marriages to start on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board, the Supremes knew today was a convenient day to reaffirm the pledge.

Jonathan said...

SO i think that they should leave the pledge the way it is. They also said that they did that for the right of the child and that the father was using the child. I am sure Richard that this topic is going to come up again in the court in our lifetime.