The high court "has affirmed time and again that such official acknowledgments of our nation's religious heritage, foundation and character are constitutional," [US Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales said in a statement a day after the ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton in San Francisco.
CNN's story has one minor flaw that I caught.
The decisions by Karlton and the appeals court conflict with an August opinion by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. That court upheld a Virginia law requiring public schools lead daily Pledge of Allegiance recitation, similar to the requirement in California.
California does not require the pledge to said in school classrooms. State ed code requires a "daily patriotic exercise" in the public schools, and the law specifically states that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance will satisfy the requirements of that law. Saying the pledge was so contentious at the school at which I teach that we had to compromise on a daily patriotic quote. If Virginia's law requires the schools to lead the recitation of the pledge, that's not very similar to California's law at all.
And let's not forget that individual recitation of the pledge is not required, as determined by the Supreme Court in 1943.
This CNN story, from the last pledge go-around in 2003, has two interesting quotes.
The ban was put on hold until the high court issues a final ruling. The First Amendment bans government "establishment of religion," but the Supreme Court twice previously has declared the pledge constitutional.
Legal precedent makes reciting the pledge a voluntary act, but Newdow argues it is unconstitutional for students to be forced to hear it, saying the teacher-led recitations carry the stamp of government approval. [emphasis mine--Darren]
I wonder if, when the Supreme Court rules that it is constitutional, lefties will sport bumper stickers saying "It's not my pledge." And of those that do, I wonder if their indignation will be real or just another reason to hate the right. But hey, they still have Roe.