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One brief, under God. The Bush administration sided with the Pledge of Allegiance Wednesday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that reciting “one nation, under God” in public school violates the First Amendment. The Constitution, wrote Solicitor General Theodore Olson, “does not forbid the government from officially acknowledging the religious heritage, foundation and character of this nation.” … The case the Supreme Court has been anticipating may finally be at its doorstep. Months after most expected it to rule, a special three-judge court panel deciding a constitutional challenge to last year’s McCain-Feingold campaign finance law has signaled that an opinion may be forthcoming. The political class has been pacing the floor waiting for the ruling, and is hoping the Supreme Court will have the chance to issue a final decision before next year’s presidential primaries. The clue a ruling may be near: On Wednesday, the three-judge panel notified those who want to receive the opinion to join a listserv. Presumably, the panel has Chief Justice Rehnquist’s e-mail address. … American Bar Association leaders went to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week to make some noise about proposed new corporate governance guidelines. At issue are “noisy withdrawal” rules that would compel counsel to divulge suspected illicit activity by their corporate clients. The ABA wants the disclosures to be voluntary, and suggests that lawyers take their worries up the corporate chain of command first. The SEC is considering tougher regulations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. … Double murder charges against California’s Scott Peterson have spurred a debate over abortion laws and the legal status of fetuses. In USA Today, Susan Estrich suggests a way to defuse the debate — enhance penalties for attacking pregnant women. “Conner Peterson didn’t live long enough to be born, but he had a right to live, and his death should be punished,” she writes. “He doesn’t deserve, however, to be used to score points in a debate that should have nothing to do with this case.” – Bill Kisliuk Related links: United States of America v. Michael A. Newdow, et al. Commentary on McCain-Feingold Task Force Urges New Corporate Governance Policies and Lawyer Ethics Rules Laci Peterson’s Unborn Child Becomes Pawn in Abortion Debate

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