Yes, that 9th Circuit.  The same one that ruled it unconstitutional before.

A federal appeals court upheld the use of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency, rejecting arguments Thursday that the phrases violate the separation of church and state.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected two legal challenges by Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow, who said the references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs.

The same appeals court caused a national uproar and prompted accusations of judicial activism when it decided in Newdow’s favor in 2002, ruling that the pledge violated the First Amendment prohibition against government endorsement of religion.

But here’s the thing.  The last time he tried this, it went to the Supreme Court which simply said he had no standing.  So they never really dealt with the salient issue.

Now, the 9th Circuit takes up the exact same issue, and, lacking some SCOTS precedent to fall back on, rules in the opposite direction. 

Apparently, it’s all due to the luck of the (judicial) draw; it depends on which 3 judges you get.  Although…

In a separate 3-0 ruling Thursday, the appeals court upheld the inscription of the national motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins and currency, citing an earlier 9th Circuit panel that ruled the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and "has nothing whatsover to do with the establishment of religion."

I’d say, neither does "under God" in the pledge; it’s a statement of historical fact.  Still, "In God We Trust" gets a 3-0 unanimous decision while "under God" goes 2-1.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals richly deserves it’s position as the most overruled appeals court in the country.

Hat Tip: Stop the ACLU

Filed under: DougGovernmentJudiciaryReligion

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