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Bill Orton
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Published July 11 on the front page of the
Seal Beach SUN

Local politician leading effort to save U.S. pledge

By James Figueroa
    Seal Beach resident Bill Orton, who is running for state office in November, is proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution in response to a court decision last week that declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.
    The proposed amendment, which needs backing from a sitting member of Congress in order to be considered for adoption, reads: "No portion of this Constitution shall preclude Congress from passing legislation to adopt or protect a national Flag or Pledge."
    Orto is optimistic that his proposal will gain momentum in the federal government, particularly after two senators (Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and John Warner of Virginia) called for exactly that sort of change in the Constitution.
    "We're divide, we Americans, over whether the pledge (and I would add, the Flag) is worthy of an Amendment to the Constitution," Orton stated. "Yet, despite being an agnostic and a free speecher, it feels perfectly correct to offer up text for a Flag-&-Pledge Amendment that directly limits the precious words of the First Amendment."
    The Amendment, if adopted as written, would allow Congress to pass legislation to uphold the Pledge of Allegiance as currently worded, including the words "under God."
    It would also allow Congress to pass legislation penalizing flag burning as a form of free speech.
    In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag is a protected form of fre speech.
    Earlier this month, a panel of three judges from the U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional due to the inclusion of the phrase "under God."
    Orton is the Democratic candidate for state assembly in the 67th District.
    He is running against incumbent Tom Harman, a former Huntington Beach City Councilmember who was elected to the office two years ago.

To have Bill Orton speak to your group about the Flag-&-Pledge Amendment, send an email message to bill@billyorton.com or call (562) 598-9630.
Bill Orton for CALIFORNIA'S 67th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
Friends of Bill Orton        85 Riversea Road, Seal Beach, CA 90740        (562) 598-9630
FPPC ID# 1240194