Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Rein them in!

Some people get in a big rip over whether or not their kids should have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. This has manifested itself into many lawsuits, one of the more recent ones being a ninth district court of appeals case in which the Pledge was defined as a prayer, and thus violated the Endorsement clause of the First Amendment. My opinion, essentially, is that if they take out the phrase "under God" then there's really nothing to worry about.

However, apparently, the courts have gone too far. This is evidenced by the House of Representatives OK-ing a bill that would strip jurisdiction from federal courts. In essence, the bill would set it that any debate on the Pledge needs to be resolved in state courts.

Now, I'm not sure that this bill, if it were to pass the Senate and get signed into law by President Bush (who actually vetoed something today!), would actually be Constitutional. See, the Pledge gets challenged under the First Amendment, and under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, from what I remember, which is sketchy, as it was two years ago that I took the class, if something raises a Constitutional question, then the Federal Courts have jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court has appellate Jurisdiction. Since this comes from the Constitution, whose article VI states that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, then, it would seem that this is much ado about nothing during a voting year to rouse the base and show that the God-loving republicans are serious about defending our heritage as a Christian nation at the expense of all other religions that help make this country what it is.

My soapbox is over for the day.

1 comment:

Gramma said...

Seems like I remember that "under God" was added during WWII or shortly after. Also remember my mom telling me that when she learned the pledge, the custom was to begin with the right hand over the heart, then, at the words, "to the flag" the right hand/arm was lifted straight out and upward toward the flag. However, this looked too much like the Nazi "Heil Hitler" salute, so it was dropped.