You are hereShocker: Pledge Ruling Put on Hold !

Shocker: Pledge Ruling Put on Hold !

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By John - Posted on 27 June 2002

A day after he shocked the nation by declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, a federal appeals court judge put his ruling on hold Thursday. Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, who wrote the 2-1 opinion that said the phrase "under God" violates the separation of church and state, stayed his ruling until other members of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decide whether to change course.The appeals court can rehear the case with the same three judges, or an 11-judge panel.

Goodwin's action Thursday has no immediate impact, since the ruling already was on hold by court rules for 45 days to allow for any challenges.

Vikram Amar, a Hastings College of the Law scholar who closely follows the appeals court, said the latest ruling means that, for now, Wednesday's opinion finding the pledge unconstitutional "has no legal force or effect."

"They're acknowledging the likelihood that the whole 9th Circuit may take a look at this," Amar said.

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