Why was this even a law?
A Federal Judge struck down Florida's compulsory pledge statute on Thursday, which made me sit up and wonder the above question. Being raised a Jehovah's Witness taught me, if nothing else, that you can't be compelled to pledge allegiance to the US Flag. It's a solid Supreme Court precedent dating back to 1943, when JW kids were tossed out of schools for refusing to say the pledge. That the Supreme Court would issue that sort of a decision at the height of World War II shows how seriously they took it.
So why, in this day and age, is this even being passed in the first place? Wish I knew, but I'm glad it was challenged, and I'm glad even Jeb realizes the futility of appealing it, and even makes appropriate noises toward constitutional protections.
The governor said attorneys for the state are examining the ruling and an appeal still might be filed if they believe it could succeed.
"But, look, individuals do have the right to dissent or the right to not say the Pledge of Allegiance," Bush said. "I think that's constitutionally clear. I don't know why you wouldn't want to do it, but I don't think we need to spend a lot of time and energy on this."
Ryskamp ruled the law and a similar Palm Beach County School Board policy violated the First and Fourth amendments to the U.S. Constitution in a lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union filed on behalf of a student who had been punished for refusing to stand for the pledge.
"Judge Ryskamp is a solid, solid jurist," Bush said.
I can think of any number of reasons why even a patriotic American wouldn't want to say the pledge, especially in this day and age. Hell, even if the only reason is to be contrary and think of it as an exercise of your freedom not to speak, that's enough for me.