FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — The American Legion has joined a lawsuit attempting to defend the use of the Pledge of Allegiance at a central New Jersey school.

The patriotic group says it has been accepted as an intervener in a lawsuit filed by the American Humanist Association against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.

The humanist group says including the phrase “under God” in the pledge violates the state constitution and marginalizes atheist and humanist students.

The lawsuit was filed in April.

In May, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled in a similar case there that the pledge is not discriminatory.

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