In The School

One State Under God

One State Under God

Croft v. Perry

The Big Picture
A North Texas couple filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry challenging the constitutionality of the phrase “under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance and asking to ban its use.

Why This Case Matters
Lawsuits surrounding both state pledges and the national pledge of allegiance are, unfortunately, becoming more frequent in number. Religion has played a critical role in our nation’s history, and the phrase “under God” is not an endorsement of any particular religion—yet is considered a significant voluntary affirmation and is constitutionally protected speech. For many, reciting the Texas Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic exercise.

The Facts

    • In 1933, the Texas Legislature originally passed a law establishing the Texas Pledge of Allegiance.
    • The Legislature added the words “under God” in 2007.
    • While state law does require schoolchildren to recite the pledge every morning, parents may opt out of their children’s recitation of the pledge with a written request.
    • In 2007, a North Texas couple filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Texas challenging the constitutionality of the phrase “under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, and asking for an injunction banning its use.
    • The couple filed the lawsuit on behalf of their three children who attended the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District.
    • The couple claimed the state pledge violated the so-called “separation of church and state.”
    • In 2009, a federal district court in Dallas rejected the lawsuit, and the couple appealed their loss to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • In April 2010, joining the Solicitor General of Texas, Liberty Institute argued the case before the 5th Circuit Court on behalf of The American Legion Department of Texas.
    • On October 13, 2010, the court of appeals upheld the inclusion of the words “one state under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, finding the Texas pledge and specifically the phrase “under God” constitutional.

What You Can Do
Our Founders called religious freedom our First Freedom for a reason—it is the foundation upon which all other freedoms rest. As anti-faith groups become more aggressive in their attacks, we need your help more than ever!

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