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June 27, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Orton at (562) 598-9630
Southern California politician proposes 20-word Flag-&-Pledge Amendment      (ORANGE COUNTY, CA.) -- As Americans debate a controversial federal court ruling over the Pledge of Allegiance, a state politician in California is proposing a way to defend America's sacred symbols.
"If the courts think that the Pledge is somehow unconstitutional," said state legislative nominee William R. "Bill" Orton (D-Seal Beach), "then it might just be time to amend the Constitution."
Orton, an agnostic who says he has no problem with his own second-grade daughter reciting "under God" each day at school, is proposing a 20-word amendment that would allow Congress to protect both the nation's Flag and Pledge.
"The Pledge is our great civic equalizer," said Orton.
Less than a day after the Ninth Circuit Court issued its controversial ruling, Orton sent a draft of a 20-word amendment to United States Senators John Warner (R-Virginia) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut), both of whom have called for official protection of the Pledge.
Orton's proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
"No portion of this Constitution shall preclude Congress from passing legislation to adopt or protect a national Flag or Pledge."
Orton admits that many people -- including activists within his own party -- disagree with so strong a protection of both the flag and pledge. And as someone who professes to not know whether God indeed exists, Orton says that he understands the arguments that the court used to strike down the Pledge.
Nevertheless the Democratic candidate urged swift passage by the Congress of an Amendment.
"The time is right to formally protect the Flag and Pledge," said Orton.
Proposed Amendments to the United States Constitution must be cleared by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress before being sent to the states. The legislatures of three-fourths of the states -- 38 in total -- must ratify the proposal for it to be adopted.
In his race for state Assembly in California, Orton is supporting the reciting of the pledge in schoolrooms each day and is also calling for a state law to provide greater protection of individual religious freedom and for a tax-credit for stay-at-home parents.
For more information about Bill Orton, visit his campaign web site, at http://billyorton.com.
BILL ORTON is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 67th District, which covers Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, and portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster.
FPPC ID# 1240194