(search)This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, March 24, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Now to the U.S. Supreme Court battle over the Pledge of Allegiance.
The California father fighting to keep his daughter and all publicschool children from reciting the words "under God" argued his own casetoday, and already Michael Newdow (search) is getting rave reviews from some corners. But is his argument on shaky legal ground due to a custody dispute?
The child's mother, Sandy Banning was inside court and joins us inWashington.
Welcome to Washington.
SANDRA BANNING, MOTHER OF GIRL IN PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE CASE: Thankyou.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever think you'd end up in the United States Supreme Court (search) watching an argument involving your family.
BANNING: Not only did I -- it never occurred to me, it never crossedmy mind that it would be something I would want to do.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, how was it today? What was it like?
BANNING: It was fascinating. It was a mixture of, you know, watchingthe exchange between the attorneys and the justices, and just the room itself is really overwhelming. So getting caught up in the atmosphere andthe argument was -- it's very interesting.
VAN SUSTEREN: Before the justices even get to the question aboutwhether the terms "under God" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance or out,or at least whether the schoolchildren should be required to say it, they have to decide whether or not the father of your daughter is even the right person to bring it because you're having a custody dispute with him, right?
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean he's not your ex-husband. He is the father of your child.
BANNING: Right. That's right.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have sole and complete custody of the child?
BANNING: We have a customized definition of joint legal custody. If you looked up the definition of joint legal custody, it would not apply to us. However, our custody arrangement as defined by -- in this situation resembles sole legal custody with mother having the final say.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in this particular -- in the argument today, theyspent half the time on whether or not the father was the right person tobring it on behalf of the daughter and half the time on whether it's --whether the words should even be in the Pledge of Allegiance? What's thesplit do you think?
BANNING: Well, actually, I think they -- it appeared to me that theywere wanting to move past the standing issue and on to the merits. They did go back and forth a little bit on standing, but I -- from my perspective and as a mother and just as being involved in this case, I would actually like to see them resolve the issue on the merits.
VAN SUSTEREN: Make it over once and for good.
BANNING: Right. So we don't revisit this.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Does your daughter know about the -- doesshe understand this dispute?
BANNING: She understands it. She knows that she's the child involvedin the case. She doesn't understand the ramifications, and we've tried tokeep it on her level and not make her the focus, although she knows she'sthe little girl in the case.
VAN SUSTEREN: How are the other parents responding to this wholeissue of whether the terms, you know, "under God" should be recited in the Pledge of Allegiance in your school district?
BANNING: Well, we're actually getting excellent support, and so Ireally feel comfortable that, you know, the community is behind us.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are there any parents who are opposed to it, who sort of joined with the viewpoint of your child's father?
BANNING: Apparently, there are, but I'm not aware of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
BANNING: I haven't been introduced to them.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, we look forward to seeing what the Supreme Court rules on that. Nice to see you, Sandy.
BANNING: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome to Washington.
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