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Suit to bar prayer at presidential inauguration under review

[JURIST] Michael Newdow {JURIST Newsmaker], the same individual who sued to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, has filed a suit to bar the planned recitation of a prayer at the presidential inauguration [official website] on January 20. Newdow argues that the use of prayer at a government ceremony is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The government filed a brief on Monday with the US District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that the practice of prayer at inauguration can be traced all the way back to the inauguration of George Washington, and is an accepted and non-controversial part of the ceremony, and asking that the suit be dismissed. Newdow filed the same suit [PDF complaint] in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, but that Court dismissed the suit, ruling that Newdow didn't suffer from a "sufficiently concrete and specific injury." AP has more.

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