Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fourth Circuit upholds Virginia law on the Pledge of Allegiance against Establishment Clause challenge

In Myers v. Loudoun County Public Schools, the Fourth Circuit panel of Judges Williams Motz, and Duncan affirmed the District Court's decision that the Virginia statute (Va. Code § 22.1-202) providing for voluntary, daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the rights of the plaintiff because "the Pledge is not a religious exercise and does not threaten an establishment of religion." The Court also concluded that the plaintiff as a non-attorney could not litigate pro se the constitutional claims of his minor children.

Judge Williams wrote the opinion for the Court, Judge Duncan wrote a separate concurring opinion, and Judge Motz wrote a separate opinion concurring in the judgment.

The case was argued on March 18, 2005, which was the first time, as best I can tell, that oral argument was heard before an all woman panel of the Fourth Circuit.

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