Hopefully Not on Roberts' Watch

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As the country waits for the next chief justice to be confirmed, another judge reminds us judicial activism is alive and well and will continue to be for as long as Carter's and Clinton's judges sit on the bench:

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday in a case brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of.
Because the Supreme Court of the United States failed to rule decisively, I can understand Judge Karlton's bondage to the ruling of the ridiculous 9th Circuit. On a note of caution however, Karlton's ruling is misleading; children are never "coerced" into saying the pledge. You are free to abstain. You are free to not pledge allegiance.

I fully expect the 9th Circuit to reaffirm their own ruling when it reaches them on appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn it with John Roberts as chief and someone else in O'Connor's spot...that is if the current hearings ever end and Bush gets to nominate a second judge.