Newdow v. Rehnquist

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Michael Newdow, the atheist-doctor-attorney from California who wants "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, made his argument to the Supreme Court today. And HE made it HIMSELF, not some high-priced experienced appellate lawyer.

By one first-hand account, Newdow wasn’t too shabby for a guy who doesn’t actually practice law for a living. He even one-upped Rehnquist at one point:

In response to his assertions that the Pledge’s reference to "under God" divides, rather than unites, the country, the Chief [Justice Rehnquist] asked by what vote Congress added the phrase in 1954. Newdow responded that it was unanimous, to which the Chief joked, "That doesn’t sound very divisive," to which Newdow responded, "That’s because no atheist can get elected to office in this country." Several members of the audience then broke out in applause, a serious breach of decorum at this Court, causing the Chief to say angrily that the courtroom would be cleared if there was any more clapping.

From a post on SCOTUSblog