Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance (PDF). Judge Carlos Bea, the author of the majority opinion, finely exhibited what it means to be a constitutionalist judge. His opinion considered the words “under God” not in isolation, but within their proper context and according to an honest analysis of the relevant history.
In contrast, Judge Reinhardt’s dissenting opinion displays judicial activism at its best. Reinhardt used his opinion as a vessel through which to advance his own political views: attacking politicians and praising others: none of which had anything to do with the constitutional issue at hand.
Here are some of the highlights from Reinhardt’s hubristic dissent:
*”Attacking Sarah Palin”
Reinhardt mentions that some people who are not familiar with American political history may think that the current language of the Pledge dates back to the Founding Fathers. In a footnote 4, he states, “See, for example, the words of former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska: