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Pledge of Allegiance

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The Pledge of Allegiance
Shantae Lovelace
Strayer University
SOC 205 Society, Law And Government
Professor Gregory Smith
March15, 2015

Each day elementary school teachers in the Elk Grove Unified School District lead their

classes in a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Respondent, Michael Newdow, is an

atheist whose daughter participates in that daily exercise. Because the Pledge contains the words

"under God," he views the School District's policy as a religious indoctrination of his child that

violates the First Amendment. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

agreed with Newdow. In light of the obvious importance of that decision, we granted certiorari to

review the First Amendment issue and, preliminarily, the question whether Newdow has

standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts. We conclude that Newdow lacks

standing and therefore reverse the Court of Appeals' decision (Findlaw, n.d.).
Summary of Court Case
Petitioner school district requires each elementary school class to recite daily the Pledge of
Allegiance. Respondent Newdow's daughter participates in this exercise. Newdow, an atheist, filed suit alleging that, because the Pledge contains the words "under God," it constitutes religious indoctrination of his child in violation of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. He also alleged that he had standing to sue on his own behalf and on behalf of his daughter as "next friend." The Magistrate Judge concluded that the Pledge is constitutional, and the District Court agreed and dismissed the complaint. The Ninth
Circuit reversed, holding that Newdow has standing as a parent to challenge a practice that interferes with his right to direct his daughter's religious education, and that the school district's policy violates the
Establishment Clause....

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