* In June 2002, Capuano chose not to object to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’s ruling that because America’s “Pledge of Allegiance” contained the words “under God,” it violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition against government making any law respecting an “Establishment of Religion.” Within hours of the court’s decision, the U.S. Senate had gathered on the Capitol steps to recite the Pledge for television cameras and had voted 99-to-0 to denounce the court ruling. Similarly, the House of Representatives voted 416-to-3 to repudiate the decision. Aside from the three Democrats who supported the court’s ruling (Michael Honda, Robert Scott, and Pete Stark), eleven others voted “Present”—meaning that they took no position on the matter. These included Capuano, Gary Ackerman, Earl Blumenauer, Barney Frank, Luis Gutierrez, Alcee Hastings, Jim McDermott, Jerrold Nadler, James Oberstar, Nydia Velazquez, and Melvin Watt.