Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, March 25, 2004  

[W]hen Dr. Newdow described "under God" as a divisive addition to the pledge, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist asked him what the vote in Congress had been 50 years ago when the phrase was inserted.

The vote was unanimous, Dr. Newdow said.

"Well, that doesn't sound divisive," the chief justice observed.

Dr. Newdow shot back, "That's only because no atheist can get elected to public office."

The courtroom audience broke into applause, an exceedingly rare event that left the chief justice temporarily nonplussed. He appeared to collect himself for a moment, and then sternly warned the audience that the courtroom would be cleared "if there's any more clapping."

--From the NY Times story about Dr Michael Newdow, an atheist, who is currently before the Supreme Court, arguing that the inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance (which Newdow's nine year old daughter recites every day in public school) forms a breach of the US Constitution.

posted by Jonathan | 12:58 PM 0 comments


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