Proposed Measure Aims to Protect Pledge from Future Attacks

( [email protected] ) Jun 19, 2004 02:58 PM EDT

To ensure that future court cases attempting to remove the "Under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, Senator Todd Akin is proposing "The Pledge of Allegiance Protection Act," which has the support of 224 cosponsors.

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the pledge case brought by Michael Newdow on June 14 based on his lack of legal standing to speak on behalf of his daughter since he did not have custody of her.

A fundamental problem to the High Court's decision remains as pointed out by many faith-based organizations after the ruling.

"While the Court correctly dismissed the challenge brought by Mr. Newdow based on his lack of legal standing, the Court effectively side-stepped the larger constitutional question, which leaves the door open for a future challenge," said Akin in a statement.

Jordan Lorence, senior counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund which filed an amicus brief to the case, said the Supreme Court's decision does not keep the Pledge safe from future legal attacks by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, known to adamantly opppose any presence of Christianity in the government.

Newdow has told CNN that he would not stop pursuing the removal of the Pledge's reference to God. He noted there were other plantiffs willing to take up the case.

Lorence added, “So the battle for the words ‘under God’ will continue.

"It would, therefore, be prudent for Congress to enact a provision that would prevent future lawsuits in lower federal courts," said Akin.

Akin's proposed measure would use Article III of the U.S. Constitution to take the issue of jurisdiction over the Pledge from lower federal courts.

"The idea that there is a God, and that God grants rights to humankind and that the essential purpose of government is to protect these rights is a fundamental principle. It is also a principle that is central to our Nation's Declaration of Independence," stated Akin. "It is time for Congress to take positive steps to protect the freedom of Americans to express their allegiance to this principle."

"By passing the Pledge Protection Act Congress," said Akin, "would be reaffirming the rightful use of the phrase 'under God' as an important part of America's culture and history while preserving the pledge from future litigation, which is something that today's Supreme Court decision has not yet accomplished."