'Under God' Case Didn't Require Urgent Decision

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Editor:

Your editorial ("High court takes easy out on ‘under God'") asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court used a "legal loophole" showing "an alarming lack of backbone" when it refused to decide the recent Pledge of Allegiance case.As an attorney who once argued before the Court, I feel obligated toell you such conclusions are incorrect.

"Standing" is not a legal loophole. It isn important rule, particularly at theourt.Hundreds, if not thousands of appeals are filed with the Court each year.But, as a practical matter, the nine justices can only accept a limited number of those most urgent and important to our country.If the Court were to open its doors to anyone having interesting legal questions, without having a true personal involvement in a Constitutional issue (no "standing"), the number of additional cases filedould be overwhelming.

Final Constitutional decisions by the Court are far too important to be reviewed quickly, except in rare situations, such as the Presidential election dispute in 2000.It is not unusual for the careful process to take more than a year.

Moreover, the recent Pledge case does not appear to require urgent decision, compared with the many cases before the Court which have immediateife and liberty issues, or which involve disputes between the States or differing positions between federal Courts of Appeal.The challenged Pledge wording has existed for 50 years, without apparent harm to the country or extensive concern voiced by citizens.

Thus, I believe the Court was right to wait for someone to present a case, who can show theyersonally need Constitutional reliefrom havinghe phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bill Claerhout, Payson

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