Nos. 05-17257, 05-17344, 06-15093.

597 F.3d 1007 (2010)

Dr. Michael A. NEWDOW; Pat Doe; Jan Doe; Doechild; Jan Poe; Poechild; Roechild-1, Plaintiffs, and Jan Roe and Roechild-2, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. RIO LINDA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant-Appellant, and United States of America; John Carey; Adrienne Carey; Brenden Carey; Adam Araiza; Anita Araiza; Albert Araiza; Michaela Bishop; Craig Bishop; Marie Bishop; Teresa Declines; Darien Declines; Ryanna Declines; Rommel Declines; Janice Declines; Anthony Doerr; Dan Doerr; Karen Doerr; Sean Forschler; Tiffany Forschler; Fred Forschler; Esterlita Forschler; Mary McKay; Robert McKay; Sharon McKay; the Knights of Columbus, Defendants-Intervenors-Appellants, and Congress of the United States of America; Elk Grove Unified School District; Sacramento City Unified School District; Dr. Steven Ladd, Superintendent, Elk Grove Unified School District; M. Magdalena Carrillo Mejia, Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District; Dr. Dianna Mangerich, Superintendent, Elverta Joint Elementary School District; Frank S. Porter, Superintendent, Rio Linda Unified School District; Peter Lefevre, Law Revision Counsel; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California; Richard J. Riordan, California Secretary for Education, Defendants.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Filed March 11, 2010.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Dr. Michael Newdow (argued), Sacramento, CA, for plaintiffs-appellees Jan Roe, et al.

Craig M. Blackwell, Theodore C. Hirt, Peter D. Keisler, McGregor W. Scott, Gregory G. Katsas (argued), Robert M. Loeb, Lowell V. Sturgill, Jr., Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for defendant-intervenor-appellant United States.

Terence J. Cassidy (argued), Michael W. Pott, Thomas L. Riordan, Porter, Scott, Weiberg & Delehant, Sacramento, CA, for defendant-appellant Rio Linda Union School District.

Kevin J. Hasson (argued), Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., Derek L. Gaubatz, Eric C. Rassbach, Jared N. Leland, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Washington, D.C., for defendants-intervenors-appellants John Carey et al.


Patrick T. Gillen, Ann Arbor, MI, for the Thomas More Law Center; Peter D. Lepiscopo, James M. Griffiths, Law Offices of Peter D. Lepiscopo, San Diego, CA, for the Pacific Justice Institute; Eric L. Hirschhorn, Anne W. Stukes, Andrew C. Nichols, Winston & Strawn LLP, Washington, DC, and Philip B. Onderdonk, Jr., for The American Legion, Indianapolis, IN; Greg Abbott, R. Ted Cruz, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, TX; Lawrence Wasden, Attorney General of Idaho; Drew Edmondson, Attorney General of Oklahoma; Troy King, Attorney General of Alabama for all 50 States; Roy S. Moore, Gregory M. Jones, Benjamin D. Dupré, for the Foundation for Moral Law, Montgomery, AL; Steven W. Fitschen, The National Legal Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA, for the National Legal Foundation; and Raymond G. Fortner, Jr., Ralph L. Rosato, Doraine F. Meyer, for the County of Los Angeles, as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendants-Appellants.

Dr. Rex Curry, Tampa, FL; Chris J. Evans, American Atheists, Inc., Irvine, CA; for American Atheists, Inc.; George Daly, Charlotte, NC, for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.; Shawn C. Mills and Paul S. Sanford, Aptos, CA, for the Madison-Jefferson Society; Herb Silverman, Washington, D.C., for the Secular Coalition; Norman Goldman, Los Angeles, CA, for Atheists and other Freethinkers, Humanist Association of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, Agnostic and Atheist Student Association, Las Vegas Freethought Society, The Humanist Community, Humanists of Houston, Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento; and Melvin S. Limpan, Washington, D.C., for Appignani Humanist Legal Centerl, As Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees.

Opinion by Judge BEA; Dissent by Judge REINHARDT.

BEA, Circuit Judge:

I. Introduction

We are called upon to decide whether the teacher-led recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, by students in public schools constitutes an establishment of religion prohibited by the United States Constitution. We hold it does not; the Pledge is constitutional.

The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the...

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