Talent, Akin rally to protect Pledge
September 20, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – A Missouri U.S. senator and Missouri U.S. representative are positioning themselves to lead a bipartisan congressional effort to remedy the latest attempt by a federal judge to remove references to God and Christianity from the American public square—specifically, the “under God” clause in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., and Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town & Country, are sponsoring companion pieces of legislation, the Protect the Pledge Act of 2005, to restrict the jurisdiction of federal judges based on Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. A federal judge in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton, sparked the Talent-Akin momentum by ruling that the pledge’s reference to one nation “under God” violates school children’s right to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.”
On Sept. 15, Talent sponsored a Senate resolution condemning Judge Karlton’s ruling. The Talent resolution, which was co-sponsored by 16 Republican senators including Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., passed the Senate unanimously. Now Talent is co-sponsoring a bill with Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
Akin led an effort in the House of Representatives last year that resulted in a 247-173 vote for the Pledge measure. It subsequently died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The current Pledge act has 183 co-sponsors in the House, Akin said.
“When the judges get weird, and they start not doing their job but functioning as legislators, it is the job of the legislative and executive branches to rein those judges in,” Akin said.