Was reading Joe's comments about Chet Edwards and his pledge voteSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Was reading Joe's comments about Chet Edwards and his pledge vote
 


20 July 2006 at 1:04:11 AM
salon

I've been busy with TTC interests and missed all the brouhaha about the pledge. Overall, I believe that since the pledge originally didn't have "under god" in it (in fact, that little tidbit was added during the McCarthy era) but also since no one is forced to have to pledge (Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, went to court and won a minority court ruling that they are not required to have to pledge, including their school children), it's fair game for anyone that wants to take it on. (The reason no one is forced is ONLY because JW's took it through the courts after one court made it mandatory)

What I don't get is the Republican craziness in wanting to limit what courts can hear. The idea that a separate branch of government, at the federal court level, could be prevented from hearing a case is disturbing. Already, Congress acts like a lap dog for the most part to a president run amok, but they assert themselves as a body when it involves people's rights to take issues to court? And this right-wing Republican congress which has been gutting states rights all of a sudden wants the cases such as this ONLY decided at the state level?

The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, would bar federal courts from ruling on the constitutional validity of the pledge, but state courts could still decide whether the pledge was valid within their state.

The bill grew out of a 2002 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. The court ruled that the pledge was unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

The Supreme Court reversed the decision in 2004, saying the plaintiff, Michael Newdow, lacked legal standing to sue on behalf of his daughter because the girl’s mother had custody. Mr. Newdow, an atheist, has since revived the case, and last year a federal judge ruled in his favor.

Next, I was interested to see how Republican versus Democrat votes shook down. Resoundingly, Democrats were AGAINST the bill - 227 to 166. Now I will say that Chet Edwards has, at least in sound bites, been a proponent of separation of church and state, so I fail to understand why he would be one of the 30 Democrats who voted with the Republicans to help pass this bill. I don't know if I agree with Joe that it's foisting his religion on people, but it definitely does not honor those who believe that reciting the pledge, with "under god" in it, is something they don't want to do. Even if someone's view on god is a minority viewpoint, I've always believed that the courts job is to honor that view and protect it.

That is why I disagree with Chet's vote with the Republicans


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