The Liberal Activist Judges Must Go
by Conrad Spencer
I've had it with the liberal activist judges.
Not because I disagree with their decisions, mind you. I simply disagree with their timing.
On Wednesday, a judge with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance, as currently written, is unconstitutional. The same ruling brought a similar outcry three years ago. That case was thrown out because the father who brought the case did not have custody of his daughter. The Supreme Court never ruled on the central issue, but now, with additional plaintiffs in hand, they get a second chance.
That's unfortunate, because no good will come of this, meaningless wedge issue that it is.
This is not a victory of the separation of church and state crowd, or for any liberal cause. This is a rallying cry and a fundraising tool for the right. This is yet more evidence that liberals are out of touch with mainstream America and downright hostile to religion.
Rather than moving a cause forward, untimely court decisions that exceed the will of the legislature and people -- even if those decisions are legitimate readings of the law -- tend to force us two steps back.
In the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage cannot be prohibited under that state's constitution, a flurry of states -- 18 and counting -- amended their constitutions to expressly forbid gay marriage. Rather than being a victory for gay rights, the decision set the movement back years, and was used to rally the conservative troops and turn out the church vote in the 2004 elections.
Granted, court decisions in the '50s and '60s were able to move civil rights forward, though it often required the strong arm of the National Guard.
But we shouldn't take this as a victory for the church crowd, either. The Supreme Court will likely overturn the ruling, but based on precedent that belittles religion in the public sphere.
In the 1984 case Lynch v. Donnelly, the court found that the annual nativity scene of the town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was not in violation of the Establishment Clause. In a dissenting, Justice Brennan disagreed on the constitutionality of the nativity scene, but also added, "I would suggest that such practices as the designation of 'In God We Trust' as our national motto, or the references to God contained in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag can best be understood, in Dean Rostow's apt phrase, as a form a 'ceremonial deism,' protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content."
So, cursory references to God are OK because they are, in effect, meaningless.
Wow, what a victory for Christ.