The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Bay State’s highest court, has agreed to hear a challenge to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public school classrooms. At issue is whether or not the phrase “under God” in the Pledge violates the state’s Equal Rights Amendment.
The American Humanist Association, a secularist group, filed suit through an atheist couple last year in the Middlesex County Superior Court against the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. In March, Superior Court Judge Jane Haggerty upheld the Pledge as constitutional, recognizing it as “a voluntary patriotic exercise” relevant to the understanding of “American history and civics.” The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing local schoolchildren in the case, anticipates oral arguments before the Supreme Judicial Court early next year.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations
Published: November 2, 2012