The case was brought by Sacramento attorney and atheist Michael Newdow, who is representing three unnamed parents and their children. He says US District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled correctly.
“The constitution is being upheld and we’re again hopefully treating all Americans equally, which is what we’re supposed to be doing in this country.”
Reaction to the ruling by supporters of the pledge was swift.
“Rest assured that an immediate appeal will be made.”
Jared Leland of the religious rights group The Becket Fund says the ruling wasn’t a surprise. “We anticipated this decision and we’re ready for it.”
Elk Grove school superintendent Steven Ladd says they’ve long supported the pledge as an appropriate patriotic exercise.
Judge Karlton says he’ll sign a restraining order barring students from reciting the pledge in the Elk Grove and the Rio Linda and Elverta Joint Elementary districts in Sacramento County where the plaintiff’s children attend school.