Federal court finds pledge illegal—again

Newdow case refiled
A federal judge in California has ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, deciding a case that had been refiled by an atheist whose previous challenge to the phrase “under God” reached the Supreme Court.

Judge Lawrence K. Karlton of the U.S. District Court in Sacramento came to much the same conclusion September 14 as the higher Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did in 2002 in a decision that was widely criticized.

Observers are already predicting that the pledge case could end up back at the nation’s highest court, which dismissed the case on technical grounds last year.

“The court concludes that it is bound by the Ninth Circuit’s previous determination that the school district’s policy with regard to the pledge is an unconstitutional violation of the children’s right to be free from a coercive requirement to affirm God,” Karlton ruled.


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