Michael Newdow, MD

Michael Newdow

Michael Newdow is best-known for his U.S. Supreme Court case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004), challenging the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. That case resulted in a "firestorm of controversy" when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the phrase constituted an endorsement of religion, and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. This decision, however, was overruled when the Supreme Court determined, 5-3, that Newdow lacked "prudential standing" to bring the case. 

Newdow has since brought numerous other cases challenging the governmental endorsement of Monotheism. These have included challenges to the use of legislative prayer in Congress, to the Chief Justice's unauthorized alteration of the constitutionally-provided oath of office when he administers the oath to the President, and to the use of "In God We Trust" on the nation's currency. Because these have mostly been dismissed on standing grounds, he has been able to continue his quest for religious equality. Thus, by the end of this year (2012), he expects to have new challenges filed for each of these governmental infractions. 

Newdow considers his work on religious equality for secular individuals to be a subset of his work on equal protection. Thus, he has other lawsuits in the works. Currently, in the California Court of Appeal, he has a case challenging the system of apportioning custody in family law courts. Time permitting, an assortment of additional equal protection cases will be filed as well."

In addition to his work as an attorney and full-time ER physician, Newdow is also the founder of the First Amendmist Church of True Science (FACTS), an Atheistic church based in Sacramento, California. Information on his lawsuits can be found at www.restorethepledge.com. Information on FACTS is available at FACTSChurch.com.


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