Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow!

Directions: Religion and Politics have traditional been highly debated topics in our society. Recently, the Pledge of Allegiance has added to this debate. American citizens have generally recited the Pledge of Allegiance at important ceremonies ranging from presidential inaugurations to the beginning of the school day. The pledge has a great deal of sentimental value to many Americans, but also creates a great deal of controversy for others.  

Review the Supreme Court case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, which highlights the debate.

Write a five to eight (5-8) page paper in which you:

  1. Summarize the salient points of the Supreme Court case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow. (Who are the people involved in this case; why did they bring this grievance to the court system; what are the important points of this case; when did this case take place—the date, meaning month day and year.)

  2. Discuss the levels of the court through which the case evolved before it reached the Supreme Court. (Where did this case originate—in which state—and which court system did it go through—for example: Civil or Criminal—describe the various courts it went through before reaching the US Supreme Court)

  3. Explain the decision of the Supreme Court in this case in brief. (What were the major points of the Justices?  What were some dissenting and agreeing arguments?)

  4. Explain the fundamental impact that the court decision in question has had on American society in general and on ethics in American society in particular. Provide a rationale for the response. (Did this case change the way schools around the nation approach the Pledge of Allegiance?  Did this case change the way schools in specific states approach the Pledge of Allegiance? Meaning: did schools become cautious? Did they stop?  What did they do?  Did teachers change their behavior?  Did principals?  Find a specific school and write about their practices revolving around this issue.  BE SPECIFIC.  Do not use generalizations.  A generalization is: They are more cautious now because it was brought before the Supreme Court and they said so and so.  So and so is not CONCRETE rationale.  Concrete rationale is: According to a January 22, 2005 article in the New York Times, after the Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow decision, the Monroe County school district no longer makes it mandatory for students to recite the pledge of allegiance…as a result local parents were outraged.  These are just examples.)

  5. Discuss whether you believe that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is a religious issue or a sign of respect for the United States. (This is a question of religion vs. state.  This might also be a question about nationalism.  Does this case protect ones religious freedoms or one’s first amendment rights?  Again be specific here, do not over generalize.  Make your point and make sure it is clearly stated.  Remember: this is a sociological question, about law, so cite the constitution if necessary.  It is not a personal question.)

  6. Discuss whether or not you think public schools should be allowed to recite the pledge. (This is your conclusion and it is asking you for your education opinion.  Not your personal one.  Examples of educated opinion: Public schools should not be allowed to recite the pledge because it has the potential of infringing on a student’s religious beliefs and can be viewed as discriminatory.  Examples of personal opinion: I think that public schools shouldn’t be allowed to recite the pledge of allegiance because when I was a kid it wasn’t a big deal and people should just get over it.  It’s the American way.  And anyone who doesn’t agree is anti-American…etc., etc., etc.,) 

  7. Use at least three (3) quality academic resources. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  1. Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

  2. Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

    The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  3. Examine the current ethical issues inherent throughout the criminal and civil justice systems.

  4. Describe the dispensation of justice through the criminal and civil justice systems.

  5. Use technology and information resources to research issues in the criminal court and the judicial process in America.

  6. Write clearly and concisely about the American court system using proper writing mechanics and APA style conventions.