I think I’ve thought about standing for about seven hours over the last four years, mostly relative to law debates here in which the issue has arisen and in reading about Constitutional law (a hobby-type interest of mine).
Since minty has to be prepared to assert valid standing in every case he briefs for a possible court appearance, I suspect he’s right in his claim.
In our Federal system, one’s access to the courts is determined by whether one has standing – just because I think DOMA is a piece of malarkey does not give me standing to challenge it in court; I have to show that it directly causes me an injury (which it does not) to file such a suit.
The question of whether Newdow had standing to sue in California state courts under California law relative to the rights of non-custodial parents is only tangentially germane to his rights under the United States Constitution and federal law. If he can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a court that he has in fact been injured or has the potential to be injured by the actions of a state law or regulation he claims to be contrary to Federal law, then he has shown standing as regards the Federal system.
And, as has been amply shown in numerous arguments (e.g., the gay marriage issue), what a given state decides to recognize or not recognize is not binding on the Federal courts. There was a comment once in regards to a controverted divorce decree that the couple in question were validly married in one state (CT, IIRC), validly divorced in another (NV), and one party was married (to the other) but the other was not married in a third state (NY, again IIRC). To be sure, the courts will consider what rights Newdow has as regards his child’s upbringing under the California custody decree – but they are not bound by it.
I think this is a significant case, and sincerely hope it is not decided merely on the standing issue. But that is one hurdle that must be vaulted.
As for Scalia’s recusal, while I disagree vehemently with much of his Constitutional-law philosophy, the man is in fact generally a conscientious judge who usually acts according to legal principles. That he would recuse himself from a case on which he had incautiously commented publicly does not surprise me, and for him to rule on it would violate his own ethical principles.
(As an aside, I never knew that Kenneth Starr “pursued oral sex in the Oval Office” – my impression was that it was some other guy, a relative by marriage of a Senator, who did that – and that, according to the public pronouncements of those running the investigation and impeachment, it was perjury, not fellatio, which was the crime in question. Nice to see the truth will out! :mad: )
And, before we get sidetracked, let’s note that the Ninth Circuit explicitly declined to decide the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance itself. The issue at question is the constitutionality of a regulation of the school district which Newdow’s daughter attended which requires daily recital of the Pledge. There is, in my mind, a significant difference between public acceptance of a voluntary statement of belief and a governmental entity mandating or coercing its use. I have a very high opinion of the Nicene Creed – but I’d be dead opposed to requiring its use by anyone who cares not to recite it, for whatever reason.