What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Separation of Church & State : H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Prevent the Justice Department From Enforcing the Separation of Powers Between the Church and State in Cases Where Schoolchildren are Forced to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
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H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Prevent the Justice Department From Enforcing the Separation of Powers Between the Church and State in Cases Where Schoolchildren are Forced to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
house Roll Call 406     Jul 22, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In June of 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (California) ruled in Newdow v. U.S. Congress that requiring schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because the phrase "one nation, under God" violated the constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. During consideration of the 2004 Commerce, Justice, and State appropriations bill, Congressman Hostettler (R-IN) offered an amendment which would have prevented the Justice Department from using funds to enforce the circuit court's ruling. Progressives voted against the Hostettler amendment because, in their view, the separation of church and state plays a vital role in protecting individuals from the creation of a state-endorsed religion. Despite opposition from Progressives, Democrats were split on the issue and the Hostettler amendment to prevent the Justice Department from enforcing the ruling against recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance was adopted 307-119.

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