Last updated on: 1/30/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Barbara A. McGraw, JD, PhD Biography

Title:
Professor at St. Mary's College of California
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Words “under God” Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reasoning:

“The peoples of our nation are not united in their understanding of the meaning of the word ‘God,’ or even in their understanding of what it would mean for this Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision. In fact, contemporary arguments about the meaning of the word ‘God’ are rife with particularized religious content. In such an environment, this Court should not sanction a Pledge of Allegiance that separates Americans into the preferred and the marginalized. That is, the reversal of the holding of the court below would continue to divide the nation’s school children into what Amicus has referred to elsewhere as the ‘accepted diversity’ and the ‘excepted diversity.’ RASG at 159-160…

In other words, it is because ours is a nation of individuals under God, or more accurately, it is because ours is a nation grounded in each individual’s relationship with the Divine (however conceived by conscience), that a policy requiring teachers to lead school children in the recitation of a Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words ‘under God,’ is unconstitutional.”

Amicus Court Brief of Barbara A. McGraw,
Elk Grove United School District v. Michael A. Newdow, Feb. 13, 2004

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with JD's, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to government and constitutional law. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to government and constitutional law.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Saint Mary’s College of California, 2005-present
  • Chevron/Texaco Professorship in Social Ethics, Saint Mary’s College of California, 2003-2006
  • Finalist in Religion and Politics Division Book Award Competition, for Rediscovering America’s Sacred Ground: Public Religion and Pursuit of the Good in a Pluralistic America (SUNY Press, 2003), 2005
  • Associate Professor, Saint Mary’s College of California, 2000-2005
  • Assistant Professor, Saint Mary’s College of California, 1998-2000
  • Phi Kappa Phi (Highest Honors), University of Southern California Chapter of National Honor Fraternity, 1997
  • Northrop Grumman Business Ethics Fellowship, 1997
  • Department Fellow, School of Religion, University of Southern California, 1997
  • Teaching Assistant, School of Religion and School of Philosophy, University of Southern California, 1994-1997
  • Fellowship, Dean of College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, University of Southern California, 1993-1997
  • Attorney, finance for mergers and acquisitions, Skadden, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Los Angeles, 1986-1991
  • Attorney, antitrust litigation and counseling, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, Los Angeles, 1984-1986
  • Order of the Coif (Highest Honors), University of Southern California Law Center, 1984
  • Judge Nelson Administrative Justice Award, University of Southern California Law Center, 1984
  • Judicial Externship with District Court Judge Malcolm Lucas (Became Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court in 1984), 1984
  • Southern California Law Review, Editorial Staff Member, University of Southern California Law Center, 1982-1984
Education:
  • PhD, Religion and Social Ethics, University of Southern California, 1999
  • JD, University of Southern California, 1984
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should the Words "under God" Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?