Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pledge shot down in (where else?) San Francisco

A federal judge yesterday in the looniest city in the country, San Francisco, banned the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. Story here. My main beef with the ruling has nothing to do with the argument itself, but with the legal reasoning the judge used.
[Judge] Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.
The decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court! A judge was basing his decision on an overturned ruling? Does that not strike anyone as just a tad bit insane?

As a result, this ruling will most likely be overturned, for that very reason. Also, the first ruling was overturned because the atheist father (and publicity whore) Michael Newdow had no standing in the case. He sued because his daughter was in the school where the pledge was recited, and he argued that his daughter was offended by the pledge. She wasn't, nor was her mother (who has full legal custody of the daughter). Thus, he had no horse in the race.

Well, who initiated this suit? You guessed it. The same publicity whore atheist father, Michael Newdow. According to the story, he filed this suit on behalf of three unnamed parents. One wonders if the Supreme Court will rule that (1) he still has no standing, (2) "unnamed parents" have to have names if they're going to sue, (3) the judge erred in basing his ruling on an overturned ruling, or (4) considering we have money, intros in Congress, swearing-in ceremonies, etc., that reference an ambiguous "God" (even if one infers the Christian God, other religions (like Islam) reference "God"), how is a pledge any different? Attempts by the ACLU (Asshats, Crazies, and Leftists United) in years past to stop the aforementioned practices have failed, so why would this be any different?

For the record, my position is that each school district ought to be able to set its own policies as far as the pledge goes, so long as no student is forced to recite the pledge. If a kid doesn't want to pledge, he/she shouldn't have to. if the class stands to recite it, he/she should stand with the class...but may remain quiet. That is but one idea.

The funny thing is that this ruling by a liberal activist judge comes at a time when liberals in the Senate are grilling John Roberts about what kind of judge he'd make. The American public deplores yesterday's ruling, so Senate libs are going to have a hard time convincing the American public that we need more judges like this Karlton guy, and fewer judges like John Roberts. I'd be surprised if Senate libs ask Roberts about his views of yesterday's ruling. If they did, he should say that he can't comment because that very case is going to land in his lap.