Dr. Michael Newdow, an Atheist activist, has given up his six year legal fight that he hoped would have restricted California school children from saying “under God” when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, reports Catholic Lane:
Atheist Activist Dr. Michael Newdow announced on his website that after 6 years of litigation in federal courts, his constitutional challenge to the Pledge of Allegiance in California public schools is “over.” Newdow indicated for “reasons that are best not divulged” that he would not appeal the case to the Supreme Court. That leaves intact a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last year holding that the words “under God” in the Pledge do not establish a religion. Dr. Newdow’s separate lawsuit challenging recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in New Hampshire public schools continues and will be put before the U.S. Supreme Court next week.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit public interest law firm in Washington, DC, intervened in the California lawsuit on behalf of Sacramento-area schoolchildren who wanted to continue saying the Pledge with the words “under God”, as well as the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic fraternal organization that first added the words “under God” to the Pledge. After a California federal district court judge held the Pledge unconstitutional, the Becket Fund appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit. The Becket Fund’s argument that the Pledge’s reference to God is not a prayer but a statement of the quintessentially American political philosophy of limited government was adopted by the Ninth Circuit in its March 2010 decision upholding the Pledge. Becket Fund Founder and President Kevin “Seamus” Hasson successfully argued the appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
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