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Archive for March 11th, 2010

Some breaking good news: the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals- which is widely regarded as one of the most liberal courts in the country- has reversed itself and issued a decision holding that the use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the Establishment Clause. 

A press release from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is attached below.  As an aside, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternal organization of which I am a proud member, was instrumental in getting the “under God” phrase put into the pledge in the 1950′s.   The original pledge, developed in the late 19th century, did not contain the phrase.

Ninth Circuit: Pledge of Allegiance constitutional

Washington, DC , March 11, 2010: March 11, 2010 In a stunning reversal of its 2002 rejection of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco today ruled, in a 60-page opinion, that the words “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance do not violate the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The challenge to the Pledge was brought by atheist activist Dr. Michael Newdow. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit civil rights law firm, argued the case to the Court two years ago, along with the Department of Justice and attorneys representing a Sacramento-area school district.
 
In its ruling, the Court adopted the Becket Fund’s argument for the Pledge’s constitutionality, in particular the idea that Congress’s purpose in enacting the Pledge was “to underscore the political philosophy of the Founding Fathers that God granted certain inalienable rights to the people which the government cannot take away.” This is in contrast to the “ceremonial deism” argument—namely, the idea that the words “under God,” through years of rote repetition, have lost any meaning—made by the federal and local governments in the case.
 
The Court also focused on the fact that because saying the Pledge is voluntary—something affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1943—the Plaintiffs are attempting to suppress the speech of others: “What is at issue is not saying the Pledge or affirming a belief in God. What is at issue is whether Roechild [Dr. Newdow’s anonymous client] can prevent other students, who have no such objection, from saying the Pledge.”
 
“The Ninth Circuit finally stood up for the Pledge,” said Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, who argued the case to the Ninth Circuit for the Becket Fund. “The Court has just said what was self-evident to Thomas Jefferson and the signers of our Declaration of Independence in 1776 – our rights are unalienable precisely because they come not from the State, but from the Creator.”
 
The Becket Fund intervened in the case on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization that spearheaded the effort to add “under God” to the Pledge 55 years ago; children enrolled in Sacramento-area public schools and who want to keep saying the Pledge of Allegiance complete with the words “under God”; and their parents. The Becket Fund also intervened in a similar case brought by Dr. Newdow in Hanover, New Hampshire, that is now pending before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
 
Judge Stephen Reinhardt dissented from the three-judge ruling. As part of his dissent, Judge Reinhardt took pains to describe the history of the Knights of Columbus’ involvement with ensuring the place of “one nation under God” in the Pledge.
 
Based in Washington, D.C., The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a nonpartisan, interfaith, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The law firm has a 15-year-old history of defending religious liberty.
 
For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys email Kristina Arriaga, Executive Director, at karriaga@becketfund.org, call 703.582.8962, or contact Montserrat Alvarado, Assistant Communications Director, at malvarado@becketfund.org. Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director, may be reached at 202.361.8413.

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The lyric’s from the Depression era song ring true even today especially in the Colonial School District.

George Meney has been the state highest paid superintendant for eons. Despite the fact that he has the smallest school district in New Castle County with only 1 high school.

His per annum is 191,000. For this lofty renumeration he never teaches a lesson, nor does bus duty, nor does after school tutoring etc. In short this illustrates why education is so backwards. The people WORKING with the Kids make the least amount of money. The people NOT WORKING the Kids make all of the money.

Admit it, 191,000 is a very sweet deal.

However Mr. Meney, note the lack of the Dr, is retiring. Cake and ice cream for all along with tributes and platitudes. The boat beckons, the beach house calls, etc.

Not.

Mr. Meney has somehow convinced the Colonial School Board to pay him 100.00 for consulting. This is on top of his pension based on 191,000.

Oh the 100.00 isn’t a day, a week or a month, It’s an hour, as in 60 minutes.

Why they need this service boggles the mind. The new Superintendant has been there for some time as a deputy. The district’s population hasn’t spiked, no new school’s are on the board, etc.

Transportation gets cut, teacher cut backs are imminent and this guy is making a 100.00 per hour approved by an elected body of school board officials?

Time for people in Colonial to wake up and vote everyone of them out.

10% unemployment and one man makes this kind of money and does who knows what?

Ah yes, truly nice work if you can get it and apparently he can.

Oh, where is DSEA on this? Not one word.

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