Some thoughts on the Ninth Circuit's banning of the pledge:
This was just a three-judge panel; the court may sit en banc and re-hear the case. The whole court would then vote on the ruling. I don't know how many judges are on the Ninth Circuit, but I beleive it's more than a few.
If the Ninth Circuit doesn't reverse upon an en banc hearing, the Supreme Court probably will take the case... but not until next year. Therefore, look for this to become an election hot-button, as it already has. Republicans are already tying the blame to Tom Daschle, saying that the Senate needs to confirm more of the President's judicial nominees.
I expect this will also have some impact on the California governor's race. Republican Bill Simon quickly condemned the ruling; I haven't been able to find a statement this morning from Governor Davis.
Some of the crowd over on MeFi agree that this ruling is politically signficant, like MattD:
But, in any event, it will give Bush a MASSIVE window to push through his more conservative nominees to the Courts of Appeals and to the SCOTUS if there are any retirements after the final session tomorrow. Democratic Senators will have to think very hard about delaying nominees when it could cost liberal Democrats in moderate states (like Wellstone) so severely.
Probably true, regardless of the final outcome of the case.
Although I'm not very familiar with pledge jurisprudence, this summary by Dahlia Lithwick seems to suggest to me that the Supreme Court would overturn the Ninth Circuit decision.
Like many people, Anil doesn't realize - probably because his teachers didn't know, either - that it has been settled since 1934 that requiring children to say the pledge is unconstitutional.
First, requiring children to recite anything, mindlessly, is antithetical to the goals the recitation is allegedly trying to achieve. When I pledge myself to something, it's a real commitment, and I mean it. I won't cheapen that by having it be due to coercion, either implicit or explicit.
I remember in school (mine was a private religious school) at least one British boy who, as a foreign citizen, simply stood respectfully while the rest of us said the pledge. it sounds like he could not have "gotten away" with that in Anil's school.Posted by wasylik at June 27, 2002 11:01 AM