(Oklahoma City) State Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor announced Thursday that he is prepared to file a legal action in support of the Pledge of Allegiance in the wake of a controversial federal court ruling yesterday.
A three-judge federal panel in California struck down the pledge, ruling that the words "under God" violated constitutional provisions regarding the separation of church and state.
"Like everyone, I'm shocked and outraged by the ruling. I never thought I'd see the day when a simple expression of patriotism like the Pledge of Allegiance would be struck down as unconstitutional. At a time when American citizens, especially our young people, are searching for outlets to express their support of our great country, this ruling defies common sense," said Sen. Taylor.
If the ruling by the three-judge panel is upheld by the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Taylor said when that happens, he will file a legal brief on behalf of the Oklahoma State Senate and the people of Oklahoma, arguing in support of the Pledge of Allegiance and its constitutionality.
"I'm going to do everything humanly possible to preserve our school children's right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. No matter what it takes, we will get this ruling overturned," said Sen. Taylor.
The Senate leader pointed out that because the three-judge panel has jurisdiction over only nine Western states, the ruling does not yet apply to Oklahoma. That will allow Oklahoma schools to continue to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while the issue is litigated in court.
"It's important that Oklahoma schools know that they can continue to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Fortunately, our state wasn't covered by the ruling and hopefully, it never will be. I'm confident that this decision will ultimately be overturned and the Pledge of Allegiance will remain a fixture in our schools," said Sen. Taylor.