Washington (CNN) - Public schools in Western states can continue teacher-led reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, after a federal court ruled against a group of atheist parents.
The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit U-S Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Thursday that the pledge does not represent a government endorsement of religion, prohibited by the Constitution.
"The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our republic was founded and for which we continue to strive: one Nation under God," wrote the majority. "Millions of people daily recite these words when pledging allegiance to the United States of America."
The ruling applies only to the 11 states and territories in the West covered by the 9th Circuit, but it reinforces other rulings from other courts upholding the pledge. The same appeals court also ruled separately Thursday, upholding the use of the words "In God We Trust" on U.S. money.