In a classic case of timing, whether good or bad depends on your political persuasion, a federal Judge has ruled that it is unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegience in public schools.
The Plaintiff’s attorney in the case is Michael Neadow; the same man who tried to sued as a parent to bar the pledge from public schools last year only to have his case dismissed by the Supreme Court because he lacked standing. This time, apparently, Neadow found parents of schoolchildren to stand in as Plaintiffs.
I haven’t read the opinion and am not going to comment, yet, on the merits of the decision itself. Legal merits aside, though, its not too hard to see the political consequences of this decision. The Democrats opposing the nomination of John Roberts to be Chief Justice couldn’t have had this come out at a worse time. Roberts has barely raised an eyebrow in his confirmation hearings this week, and a decision like this is only going to reinforce the public’s distaste for liberal activitst judges.
As this story in the Washington Post points out there is almost no active opposition against Roberts at this point to begin with, and his nomination is pretty much a done deal. News like this only makes it more inevitable.
Roberts’s performance so far has been so masterful, so disarming that the political left has foundered in its effort to tag him as some sort of scary extremist. The vast mushy middle seems accepting and the right is still thrilled.
Meaning that the next time Michael Neadow argues his case before the Supreme Court, he will be looking across the podium at Chief Justice John Roberts.
All of this bodes well for President Bush’s next Supreme Court appointment.