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Archive for September 7, 2013

Pledge of Allegiance Goes On Trial In Boston!

Visit Our Website September 5, 2013
 Dear Friends, 

Yes, the Becket Fund has defended the inclusion of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance successfully four times already.  But the attacks continue.


Our victory last year in Massachusetts has been appealed and today our attorneys appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to again defend the Pledge.


You may recall from my earlier emails that this is the case where Judge Jane Haggerty of the Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts found that that little two-word phrase “serves as an acknowledgment of the Founding Fathers’ political philosophy, and the historical and religious traditions of the United States.”


I was interviewed by Fox News about this and the other Pledge of Allegiance cases.  Click here to see the segment.

Now, this case is a little different than our first three wins.  Those who oppose these words in the Pledge are trying a new angle since they’ve been so decisively defeated under federal law.  In this case, they are challenging the Pledge under state law as a violation of equal rights.


As our Deputy General Counsel Eric Rassbach says in this article from Religion News Service, if they are successful, we’d get “a rash of state court lawsuits challenging the pledge all over the country.”


This is big news.  Even the Drudge Report posted a link:  Pledge of Allegiance Goes on Trial in Boston…


We are hopeful that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will reject this challenge.  And, we’re excited to have had amicus briefs filed in support of our position by dozens of Congressmen, as well as by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.


In fact, the oral argument is posted here. It’s a great chance to see our attorneys in action.


Those who want to see these words removed from the Pledge of Allegiance want to see all religious expression washed out of our public life.  That’s not how the Founding Fathers saw it.  That’s why they built strong religious liberty protections into our Constitution.



Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director


P.S.  One of our earlier victories was at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where we actually got the court to reverse its earlier ruling and support the Pledge in its entirety.  Borrowing from the Becket Fund’s brief, the Ninth Circuit found that it is precisely because those words – “under God” – are such a bountiful statement about our nation’s heritage, that they are Constitutional.  The Ninth Circuit oral argument from December 2007 is actually available as well.  Just click here.