A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco on Wednesday found the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.
The judges said it was illegal to ask U.S. schoolchildren to pledge
their loyalty to one nation "under God."
In 1954, an Act of Congress added "under God" to the
oath. Today's ruling, saying the words violated the separation of
church and state, overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed
a case against the pledge brought by the father of a school child.
Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist, objected because his second-grade
daughter was required to recite the pledge in the Elk Grove school
The 9th Circuit covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. Those are the only
states directly affected by the ruling.