WASHINGTON (ABP) — The Supreme Court has declined to reconsider its decision in the controversial Pledge of Allegiance case from earlier this year.
On Aug. 23, the justices turned down atheist Michael Newdow's request that they revisit their June decision in Elk Grove Unified School District vs. Newdow. In that case, the court decided against Newdow on a technicality.
Newdow had won in a lower federal court in his effort to prevent the pledge with the words “under God” from being recited in his daughter's public-school classroom. Newdow claimed the offending words — added to the pledge by Congress in 1954 — created a violation of the First Amendment's ban on government support for religion.
But the court decided that, since Newdow did not have legal custody of his daughter, he did not have standing to sue on her behalf. Therefore, they did not render an opinion on the case's church-state merits.
The court's latest decision means that Newdow has exhausted his last legal option in the case. However, nothing would prevent a parent with custody from bringing a lawsuit on similar grounds in the future.