DOVER — A rule in the state Senate requiring anyone in the chamber to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance may be unconstitutional, according to a law professor.
Included in the rules of the Senate, which are approved by members at the start of every two-years session, is a provision stating, “Any person on the chamber floor or in the balcony who is not a member of the Senate and who refuses to salute the American flag at the time such ceremony occurs shall leave the chamber floor or balcony.”
President Pro Tempore David McBride, D-Wilmington Manor, said the language was put in at his request, likely at some point in the 1980s.
“If you’re in the chamber, you have a responsibility … to salute the flag,” and anyone who wishes not to stand “should get out,” he said.
But that rule may violate the U.S. Constitution, according to Delaware Law School Dean Rod Smolla.