Pledge of Allegiance Declared Unconstitutional

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

A federal judge in San Francisco says it is unconstitutional for public school children to recite the pledge of allegiance, because it contains the words "under god."

District Judge Lawrence Karlton says he's bound by precedent set by the ninth circuit court of appeals, which ruled in 2002 that it was unconstitutional for the pledge to be recited in public schools.

The supreme court threw out that case, ruling that atheist Michael Newdow had no standing to bring the legal action.

Dr. Newdow brought the second case to the federal court -- this time, representing unnamed parents and their children.

"The 4th Circuit in Virginia has just last month held that the pledge is constitutional. So you have at least the possibility of 2 circuit courts rendering decisions opposite one another, which probably means the court's likely to take it. Whether they decide it head on will depend on whether 5 of the justices can agree," local attorney Mike Owsley said.

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