Newdow v. Carey, Pledge Case #2 (2005-2010)


The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Newdow, et al., v. Congress of the United States of America, the Elk Grove Unified School District, the Rio Linda Unified School District, and John Carey, et al.


Description: After losing the June 14, 2004 US Supreme Court case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (AKA Newdow v. Congress) by an 8-0 vote(5-3 on standing grounds), Michael Newdow (Newdow) filed this suit as another attempt to ban the recitation of the the US Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

    The US Supreme Court ruled in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow that Newdow "lacked prudential standing" to challenge his daughter's school district's Pledge of Allegiance policy in federal court. The US Supreme Court's prudential standing jurisprudence rule prohibits a single litigant from raising another person's legal rights. To avoid this standing issue from occurring again, Newdow refiled the case seven months later with three anonymous families as co-plaintiffs.

    The defendants included the Rio Linda Union School District, the United States as a defendant-intervenor, and a group of private defendant intervenors, with John Carey as lead intervenor, are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

    On Sep. 14, 2005, District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs. Appeals were taken to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and consolidated on Feb. 24, 2006. Briefing was completed on Sep. 5, 2006. Oral arguments took place in San Francisco, CA, on Dec. 4, 2007. A separate lawsuit filed by Newdow targeting the words "In God We Trust" on US currency was argued on the same day by the same panel of judges.

    On June 2, 2009, ProCon.org staff spoke to Michael Newdow. He confirmed that a decision had not been made in either of his cases. On June 4, 2009, ProCon.org staff called the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' Clerk's Office. A docket clerk informed us that "nobody knows" when the panel would announce its judgment for Newdow v. Carey.

    Michael Newdow wrote the following statement to ProCon.org during a June 9, 2009 email exchange regarding the expected date of a decision on this case:

    "There are no deadlines for federal judges, so they are permitted to take as long as they choose to decide the cases they hear. Last time, the decision was announced three months after oral arguments were heard. This time, it's been over 18 months since the oral arguments, and there still is no decision. Why that is, is anyone's guess. Litigants have no more knowledge about such delays than anyone else."

    On Mar. 11, 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion, rejecting in a 2-1 ruling Newdow's attempt to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. The federal appeals court's decision, that the US Pledge of Allegiance as worded is constitutional, overrules District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton's 2005 ruling in Newdow's favor.

     

     





Documents
Date
Link to Source Document
1. Brief filed before the US District Court, Eastern District of California, on behalf of Michael Newdow

Apr. 2005 Full Text (PDF) 1.1MB
2. United States of America Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss

May 16, 2005 Full Text (PDF) 273KB
3. United States of America Motion to Intervene

May 16, 2005 Full Text (PDF) 49KB
4. Ruling filed by Lawrence Karlton of the US District Court, Eastern District of California

Sep. 14, 2005 Full Text (PDF) 147KB
5. Motion to Consolidate Appeals

Feb. 18, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 65KB
6. Order Granting Motion to Consolidate Appeals

Feb. 24, 2006 Full Text
(PDF)
24KB
7. School District's Opening Brief

June 1, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 139KB
8. Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's Opening Brief

June 1, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 277KB
9. United States' Opening Brief

June 1, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 191KB
10. Order Granting Motion to Consolidate Appeals

June 24, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 23KB
11. Newdow's Answering Brief

July 17, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 362KB
12. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority (H.R. 2389)

July 23, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 128KB
13. Plaintiffs' Answering Brief

Aug. 18, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 1.4MB
14. Reply Brief of Rio Linda Union School District

Sep. 5, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 1.1MB
15. Reply Brief of Appellant United States of America

Sep. 5, 2006 Full Text (PDF) 137KB

16.


Reply Brief of Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Sep. 5, 2006

Full Text
(PDF)
104KB

17. Appellant's Supplemental Authority: Habecker v. Town of Estes Park

Sep. 26, 2006

Full Text
(PDF)
28KB

18. Plaintiffs' Response to Appellant's Supplemental Authority: Habecker v. Town of Estes Park

Oct. 1, 2006

Full Text
(PDF)
132KB

19. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Faith Center Church v. Glover

Oct. 5, 2006

Full Text
(PDF)
117KB

20. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Department of Justice’s First Freedom Project

Feb. 22, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
186KB

21. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Rosenbaum v. City and County of San Francisco

May 10, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
119KB

22. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Community House v. City of Boise

June 19, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
116KB

23. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Doe v. South Iron R-1 School District

Aug. 28, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
118KB

24. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Truth v. Kent School District

Aug. 28, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
141KB

25. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Webb v. Smart Document Solutions

Aug. 29, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
144KB

26. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Access Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Sep. 3, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
140KB

27. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Buono v. Kempthorne

Sep. 13, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
126KB

28. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Inouye v. Kemna

Sep. 15, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
122KB

29. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Fields v. Brown

Sep. 21, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
119KB

30. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2007

Sep. 22, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
146KB

31. Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority: Pocatello Education Association v. Heideman

Oct. 8, 2007

Full Text
(PDF)
140KB

32. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion: Newdow v. Rio Linda Union School District

Mar. 11, 2010

Full Text
(PDF)
893KB



Amicus Briefs
The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Newdow, et al., v. Congress of the United States of America, The Elk Grove Unified School District, the Rio Linda Unified School District, et al.
Pro "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance
Con "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance
Party Document Party Document
1. Attorney Generals of all 50 states Full Text (PDF) 1.2MB 1. American Humanist Association Full Text (PDF) 202KB
2. Foundation for Moral Law Full Text (PDF) 77KB 2. Freedom From Religion Foundation Full Text (PDF) 284KB
3. Los Angeles County Full Text (PDF) 532KB 3. Madison-Jefferson Society Full Text (PDF) 181KB
4. National Legal Foundation Full Text (PDF) 228KB 4. Rex Curry Full Text (PDF) 71KB
5. Pacific Justice Institute Full Text (PDF) 1.8MB    
6. Thomas More Law Center Full Text (PDF) 1.8MB