Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Predictable: When the Supreme Court chickened last year and refused to hear a challenge to the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because the plaintiff, Michael Newdow, didn't have custody of his daughter, everyone knew that they were just putting off the inevitable. Despite media claims in the wake of Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death of the existence of the "Rehnquist Five," it wasn't the court's conservative trio that didn't want to hear the case, but the moderates and liberals.
Because it's pretty easy to see where the San Francisco judge today, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, could read the Supreme Court's jurisprudence and come to the conclusion that "under God" is unconstitutional.
Had the court not stuck their proverbial head in the sand, there's a pretty good likelihood that they would have upheld the Ninth Circuit's ruling -- a very unpopular ruling.
This would have undoubtedly hurt Sen. John F. Kerry in last year's presidential race by making the Supreme Court an issue the American middle -- it was already a big concern with the partisan left and right. While I'm sure that John Kerry would've decried the Court's decision -- his political ear isn't pure tin -- Bush would be able to beat him over the head with the fact that the types of judges Kerry was likely to appoint would be of a similar mindset as those who would remove "God" from not just the pledge, but our coins and the public square as a whole.
There won't be any avoiding the question this time and hopefully there will be one more solid conservative on the Supreme Court when the case finally arrives.