SJR 10: Relating to the Pledge of Allegiance.
00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 10 01 Relating to the Pledge of Allegiance. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS this country was founded on religious freedom by founders, many of 04 whom were deeply religious; and 05 WHEREAS the First Amendment to the United States Constitution embodies 06 principles intended to guarantee freedom of religion both through the free exercise of religion 07 and by prohibiting the government's establishing a religion; and 08 WHEREAS the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist 09 minister, and was first published in the September 8, 1892, issue of Youth's Companion; and 10 WHEREAS, in 1954, the United States Congress added the words "under God" to the 11 Pledge of Allegiance; and 12 WHEREAS President Eisenhower, in adding these words, said "These words will 13 remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will 14 help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which 15 alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded."; and 16 WHEREAS, for nearly 50 years, the Pledge of Allegiance has included references to
01 the United States flag and the country; this country has been established as a union "under 02 God," being dedicated to securing "liberty and justice for all"; and 03 WHEREAS, in 1954, the United States Congress believed it was acting 04 constitutionally when it revised the Pledge of Allegiance; and 05 WHEREAS patriotic songs, engravings on United States legal tender, engravings on 06 federal buildings, and the Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Alaska also contain 07 general references to "God"; and 08 WHEREAS, in accordance with decisions of the United States Supreme Court, public 09 school students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance without violating their 10 First Amendment rights; and 11 WHEREAS a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth 12 Circuit has ruled in Newdow v. U.S. Congress that the words "under God" in the Pledge of 13 Allegiance violate the Establishment Clause when recited by students in public schools; and 14 WHEREAS the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has voted not to have the full court, 15 en banc, reconsider the decision of the panel; and 16 WHEREAS the Senate of the 108th United States Congress strongly disapproves of a 17 decision by a panel of the Ninth Circuit in Newdow v. U.S. Congress, and the decision of the 18 full court not to reconsider this case en banc; and resolves to authorize and instruct the Senate 19 Legal Counsel either to seek to intervene in the case to defend the constitutionality of the 20 words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, or to file an amicus curiae brief in support of 21 the continuing constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance; 22 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature concurs with and supports 23 review by the United States Supreme Court of the decision, Newdow v. U.S. Congress. 24 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 25 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States 26 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ted Stevens, President Pro Tempore of the 27 U.S. Senate and member of the Alaska delegation in Congress; the Honorable J. Dennis 28 Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; and to the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, 29 U.S. Senator, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 30 delegation in Congress.