I was going to pull some choice quotes out of this one, but I can't! Every single paragraph contains a groaner! And who voted for it? All of them. Because you can't come out against GOD, you know!
June 26, 2002
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Shortly after a federal appeals court ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, the Senate Wednesday approved a resolution "expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance" and asking Senate counsel to "seek to intervene in the case."
The resolution passed 99-0.
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The Senate resolution came about quickly after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were outraged as news spread of the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled the Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" because of the addition of the phrase "under God" in 1954 by Congress.
In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor just before the resolution vote, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, said he is the only remaining member of Congress who voted for the addition of "under God" on June 7, 1954. He warned the judges who declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional to never come before him because "he'll be blackballed."
"I wonder if that judge would hold the Declaration of Independence unconstitutional," said Byrd.
"I hope the Senate will waste no time in throwing this back in the face of this stupid judge. Stupid, that's what he is."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Dennis Hastert Wednesday said the decision underscores the need for the Senate to confirm "some common sense jurists."
In a statement, Hastert said:
"Obviously, the liberal court in San Francisco has gotten this one wrong. Of course, we are one nation, under God. The Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic salute that brings people of all faiths together to share in the American spirit.
"I strongly believe that parents, teachers and local schools should encourage children to recite the pledge to start the day, the same way those of us in Congress begin our daily business, (and) not allow a liberal judge to take it away. It's time for the Senate to move forward and confirm some common-sense jurists."
At one point late Wednesday, about 100-150 House members, mostly Republicans, gathered on the steps outside the Capitol and recited the Pledge of Allegiance in a show of support.
The Senate resolution was pushed quickly to the floor by Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, with the backing of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi.
Of the court's ruling, Daschle said, "This decision is nuts."
Lott concurred: "This is obviously an unbelievable decision, as far as I am concerned, and an incorrect ruling and a stupid ruling."
Tue Jun 25,10:11 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - An Alaskan chicken-hypnotist who cycles around the world with a traveling circus has ground to a halt after a charity clothes shop in Scotland sold her bicycle by mistake while she was in the fitting-room.
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Emily Harris left the $1,800 bicycle leaning on a mannequin inside the British Heart Foundation shop in Edinburgh while she tried on a shirt. By the time she came out the bike had been sold for $15.
"I went into shock. I started shaking and I said 'what a lot of' with some expletives attached a few times," Harris told Reuters on Tuesday.
She said the shop staff apologized profusely but did not give her the proceeds of the impromptu sale.
"We're hoping the person who bought it will have the decency when he realizes the mistake to bring it back," said Jo Hudson, a spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation.
"Someone's got an incredible bargain unbeknown to everyone including our unfortunate shop attendant."
Harris had built the bike herself around a German-made frame while working in a bicycle shop in New Orleans and had ridden it across much of the United States and Canada as well as Spain, France and Britain.
The 25-year-old from Palmer, Alaska, was touring Britain with a group of bike-riding circus artists who perform for children, financing their travels by busking in town centers and parks.
Harris performs as a fire-eater, puppet-master and concertina-player but her star act consists of hypnotizing chickens and making them play the piano, she said.
She was hoping the person who bought the bicycle would realize the mistake and return it to the shop, but failing that planned to request a working visa to make enough money to buy a new one.
"My plans are put on hold until I can get a bicycle. I can't do anything without one," she said.
___0___ DAYS WITHOUT AND ON-SITE INJURY!
Wed Jun 26, 2:52 PM ET
By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - For the first time ever, a federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional Wednesday because of the words "under God" added by Congress in 1954.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ( news - web sites) said the phrase amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause, which requires a separation of church and state.
"A profession that we are a nation `under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation `under Jesus,' a nation `under Vishnu,' a nation `under Zeus,' or a nation `under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for the three-judge panel.
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The appeals said that when President Eisenhower signed the legislation inserting "under God" after the words "one nation," he wrote that "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."
The court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has said students cannot hold religious invocations at graduations and cannot be compelled to recite the pledge. But when the pledge is recited in a classroom, a student who objects is confronted with an "unacceptable choice between participating and protesting," the appeals court said.
"Although students cannot be forced to participate in recitation of the pledge, the school district is nonetheless conveying a message of state endorsement of a religious belief when it requires public school teachers to recite, and lead the recitation of, the current form of the pledge," the court said.
The case was brought by Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who objected because his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk Grove school district. A federal judge dismissed his lawsuit, but the 9th Circuit ordered that the case proceed to trial.
"I'm an American citizen. I don't like my rights infringed upon by my government," he said in an interview. Newdow called the pledge a "religious idea that certain people don't agree with."
The government had argued that the religious content of "one nation under God" is minimal.
But the appeals court said that an atheist or a holder of certain non-Judeo-Christian beliefs could see it as an attempt to "enforce a `religious orthodoxy' of monotheism."