Case Against 'Under God' Heads to Top Mass. Court

They will be 'making new law' in Pledge case, plaintiffs say

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 31, 2012 10:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Massachusetts Supreme Court has agreed to hear what could be a landmark case against the Pledge of Allegiance. A family of secular humanists are arguing that the phrase "under God" in the pledge violates the state's constitutional ban on religious discrimination, the Religion News Service explains. A lower court has ruled that the phrase wasn't discriminatory because it didn't hold one religion over another, but the court has agreed to consider the argument.

Of course, the brouhaha over the "under God" phrase is a longstanding one. The US Supreme Court shot down a challenge to it in 2004, saying it didn't violate the separation of church and state. This case is taking a different angle, challenging it under Massachusetts' state constitution. "There is very little case law that precedes this," a representative for the plaintiffs says. "The court will be making new law when it issues its decision."

Students at Kostoryz Elementary School recite the pledge of allegiance in Corpus Christi, Texas, in this file photo.
Students at Kostoryz Elementary School recite the pledge of allegiance in Corpus Christi, Texas, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Rachel Denny Clow)
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