Court OKs N.H. law allowing "God" pledge in schools

Concludes voluntary recitation of Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate constitutional rights

Published November 15, 2010 9:51PM (EST)

A federal appeals court has upheld a New Hampshire law requiring schools to authorize a time each day for students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance, finding the oath's reference to God doesn't violate the students' constitutional rights.

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on Friday affirmed a ruling by a federal judge who found students can use the phrase "under God" when reciting the pledge.

Parents and The Freedom From Religion Foundation had sued the Hanover School District in New Hampshire and the Dresden School District in New Hampshire and Vermont in 2007. They said children's constitutional rights were being violated.

The appeals court found the primary effect of the law is "not the advancement of religion, but the advancement of patriotism."

By Denise Lavoie

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