A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Friday dismissed as moot a challenge to the religious components of last year’s inaugural ceremony, including the inaugural prayer and presidential oath, and the court said the plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the 2013 and 2017 inaugurations.
Michael Newdow, a prominent atheist and lawyer, unsuccessfully sought an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. from delivering the phrase “so help me God” to President-elect Barack Obama in January 2009. Newdow claimed, among other things, the phrase is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment when it is delivered by the Chief Justice of the United States. Two private ministers, Revs. Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, spoke at the inauguration.
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