DVAU/Philly Meeting: Paul Grosswald “One Nation… Indivisible?”

The Delaware Valley Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State will host a speaker meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2010, 7pm.

DVAU has not met in Center City Philadelphia for quite some time prior to our recent reorganization. It is with great pleasure that we bring back Attorney Paul Grosswald to speak to the chapter again at our first Center City event in several years, on Sept. 23, 7:00 pm, at the Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. in the Skyline Room. Grosswald specializes in civil rights cases and was involved in a landmark Supreme Court case involving the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in a public school.

Mr. Grosswald will discuss the arguments he presented to the Supreme Court. He will also provide an update on new Pledge of Allegiance decisions that have been handed down since 2004. At the conclusion of his talk he will lead a discussion regarding the best strategy for church/state separationists going forward. Is it wise for Mr. Newdow to continue bringing separation cases which are likely to be lost in front of the current Supreme Court? Or would it be better if he waited until the makeup of the Court changes before pursuing a separationist agenda? Come join us for an informative and lively discussion!

Title: One Nation… Indivisible?

Speaker: Paul S. Grosswald graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2001. He specializes in civil rights and employment discrimination cases. He is admitted in New York and New Jersey, and in numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Abstract: In 2004, attorney Paul S. Grosswald became involved in one of the most controversial Establishment Clause cases ever to reach the United States Supreme Court. Michael Newdow’s daughter’s school district had a policy requiring the school to lead students in a daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Newdow sued the school district on the grounds that such a policy violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, because the Pledge contains the phrase “Under God.” Newdow prevailed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Mr. Grosswald entered the case early in 2004, when he co-authored a Friend of the Court Brief on behalf of a coalition of Buddhist Organizations, with a combined membership of over 300,000 Buddhist Americans. Mr. Grosswald’s brief supported Newdow’s position that the school district’s Pledge policy was unconstitutional. Ultimately, the Court ruled against Newdow on procedural grounds, without addressing the “Under God” issue. Nevertheless, three Justices issued concurring opinions which squarely addressed the constitutionality of the school district’s Pledge policy. One of those opinions, written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, cited Mr. Grosswald’s brief.

Location: Philadelphia Free Library, Parkway Central Branch
Skyline Room
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

There is a pay-to-park lot behind the library, and this location is accessible via SEPTA.

RSVP for this event here: http://www.meetup.com/churchandstate-48/calendar/14050860/

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