The government says there have been prayers at presidential inaugurals for more than 200 years, and that shouldn't change.
It's asking a federal court to throw out a lawsuit filed by atheist Michael Newdow, who's trying to bar the saying of a prayer at President Bush's inaugural.
Newdow is best known for trying to get courts to remove the "under God" reference from the Pledge of Allegiance.
He says using prayer in the inaugural is unconstitutional. But the government says it's been happening since 1789 and is widely accepted. A federal appeals panel threw out the same lawsuit last year.