Lawsuit Challenges Inaugural Oath, Prayers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - An atheist who has fought to remove the words "under God" from the pledge of allegiance wants to remove all religious references from the President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

Michael Newdow believes government references to God or religion
are unconstitutional.

This time, he's joined 17 other plaintiffs, including atheist and humanist organizations.

He wants to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath of office, noting that it isn't in the oath set out in the Constitution. The lawsuit also seeks to block inaugural prayers by the Rev. Rick Warren and the Rev. Joseph Lowery.

Newdow sued to remove religion from inaugurations in 2001 and 2005 but lost both cases.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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