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Judge Blocks His Pledge Ruling

The federal appeals court judge who shocked the nation by declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional has blocked his ruling from being enforced.

Judge Alfred Goodwin, who wrote the opinion that the phrase “under God” crossed the line between church and state, stayed his decision today. That prevents it from taking effect until the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether it wants to change its course.

The appeals court can re-hear the case with the same three judges, or an 11 judge panel. It has often overturned controversial three-judge opinions. Goodwin´s action has no immediate impact, since the ruling was already on hold to allow for any court challenges.

The decision was met with widespread criticism.