Last we heard, Michael Newdow‘s long-standing attempt to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance was stopped (again) by the Supreme Court.
More recently, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against him in his attempt to get “In God We Trust” off the currency, saying that “the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and ‘has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion.’”… so Newdow appealed his case to the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the Court refused to hear his case, effectively putting an end to this attempt at righting a wrong.
So does this mean it’s over?
Yes and no.
According to Newdow, this is only the end to the case in the 9th Circuit.
In the 1st Circuit, he lost his initial case, appealed it, and lost the appeal. Once again, he’ll be asking the Supreme Court to review the case — the deadline for doing this is this coming Monday. I would guess the Court will say no yet again.And that would be the end to that case.
Newdow is persistent, though, and he knows he’s right on this issue: “Under God” has no business being in the Pledge. Not only that, there are parents all across the country — in other circuit court districts — willing to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit.
Newdow writes (to me in an email):
There are 7 circuits left (the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th and the DC Circuit), and I plan to go to each until I find two judges willing to uphold the Constitution.
If even one of those courts agrees with him, the national conversation about the Pledge will start up again. I wonder how different it will be the next time around, with so many more vocal atheists out there now than there were back in 2004…