Ever since the 1950s, the Pledge of Allegiance has included the phrase 'Under God.' Some have challenged this, arguing that the addition of those words was unconstitutional. Others say that they simply acknowledge the nation's religious heritage, isn't religious, or even that it's just not worth worrying about. What do you think? Do you think it should be removed as unconstitutional, or do you think for some reason that it should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance?
Michael Newdow's position in his original court case was that it is unconstitutional for state employees to lead students in an exercise which is fundamentally religious in nature because that represents the state endorsing a religious viewpoint. The fact that his daughter was not required to participate in this exercise cannot be sufficient to make it constitutional -- it would not, for example, be sufficient for students to be allowed to refrain from participating in official prayers or Bible readings for such practices to be constitutional.
In their decision on Newdow's case, the Ninth Circuit Court applied every possible test to the Pledge and the policy of reciting the pledge, finding that none of the tests were successful. As a result, the Court held that both the addition of the words "under God" and the school district's policy itself were violations of the Establishment Clause. I've yet to see any convincing rebuttals to this decision. Indeed, it's rare for anyone to actually try to engage the decision's legal reasoning and show that the addition of "under God" could in any way survive any standard constitutional test