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Supreme Cowards
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Back when the Supreme Court was deciding whether or not to hear oral arguments in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, challenging the State's authority for its representatives to lead schoolchildren in a daily affirmation of the existence of god, there was a lot of speculation about whether or not they would decide to hear it. I quoted a Yahoo news story (now offline), which said this:

But justices could dodge the issue altogether if they decide that Newdow needed the mother's consent, because she has primary custody.

Rehnquist said that the issues raised in the case "certainly have nothing to do with domestic relations." And, Justice David H. Souter said that Newdow could argue that his interest in his child "is enough to give him personal standing.

Now the gutless cowards have apparently decided that if they actually ruled on the case based on the merits, everyone would be angry with them.

Five justices -- led by Justice John Paul Stevens -- said Michael Newdow, the father, did not have legal standing to bring the case. Newdow, who is involved in a custody dispute with the mother of their third-grade daughter, could not speak for the girl, the court ruled.

I listened extensively to the coverage of the case, and while the State spent most of its time arguing to dismiss the case on procedural grounds, the Justices swatted aside most of those arguments. At the time they heard it, they certainly seemed as if the custody issue didn't matter to them. It certainly seemed as if they wanted to actually hear and weigh the arguments on the merits of the Constitutionality of the language in the Pledge.

Now it certainly seems as if they're a gaggle of crowd-pleasing chicken-shits.

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