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'Under God' not First Amendment violation

Oct. 14, 2010 at 12:26 PM

DALLAS, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court says the phrase "under God" inserted into the Texas Pledge of Allegiance is not a First Amendment violation.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the Texas pledge, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the ruling "a victory for all Texas' constitutionally protected rights and freedoms," The Dallas Morning News reported.

A Dallas-area couple, David Wallace Croft and his wife, Shannon, with two other people, filed a suit in 2007, claiming the inclusion of "under God" caused their children harm and violated their First Amendment rights.

The plaintiffs lost a federal district court ruling in 2009 and appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court. The ruling also denied the plaintiffs' argument the pledge endorses a particular religious belief.

Texas lawmakers inserted the words "under God" into the Texas pledge to mirror the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, the report said. The appeals court made its latest ruling Wednesday.

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