WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama plans to conclude
his inaugural oath next Tuesday with the words "so help me God."
But some atheists and agnostics have gone to federal court in hopes of stopping him.
Representing them, California atheist Michael Newdow sued Chief Justice John Roberts in hopes of getting an injunction against the
inclusion of those words in the inaugural oath. He's also challenging prayers to be said in the ceremony.
A lawyer for the chief justice says Obama already has contacted Roberts and told him that he wants to keep the words "so help me
God" in the oath he'll take.
The Justice Department and attorneys general from all 50 states have filed motions in the federal court asking for the lawsuit to be thrown out.
Newdow lost similar challenges to the use of religious words and prayers at President George W. Bush's inaugurations. And he's
perhaps best known for his unsuccessful effort to get the words
`under God" taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)