There was no doubt that the Supreme Court of the United States was in a bind about the pledge case. Striking down the “under God” portion of the pledge would engender another round of hysteria and posturing like the one that greeted the Ninth Circuit ruling. But upholding it raised some tough constitutional questions.
So what did the court do? They punted, dismissing the case on a technical standing issue and laying off the merits. It’s a punt and not a duck because this issue is not going away and they’ll have to deal with it sooner or later. SCOTUSblog has more about that here and here.
Eugene Volokh says Clarence Thomas is giving the Ninth Circuit some cover.
NYT’s Greenhouse rounds it all up here.