BREAKING NEWS ~ Supreme Court rejects Newdow inaugural prayer challenge Bernard Hibbitts at 11:44 AM ET
[JURIST] FOX News is reporting that the US Supreme Court has rejected Michael Newdow's bid for an injunction banning prayer at the Presidential inaugural ceremonies January 20th. Newdow asked the Court to intervene [JURIST report] after US District Judge John Bates denied Newdow's original petition [JURIST report] in a ruling [PDF text] Friday, saying that he was not likely to succeed on the merits of his claim that inaugural prayers represent an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. Read the original complaint [PDF] and additional inauguration case materials on Newdow's website focusing on his efforts to eliminate the words "Under God" from the current Pledge of Allegiance.
12:44 PM ET - From DC, Lyle Denniston reports on Goldstein & Howe's SCOTUSblog that Chief Justice Rehnquist made the ruling:
Rehnquist did not act on Newdow's separate request for the Chief Justice's recusal from acting on the injunction request. The Court officially noted that the suggestion of recusal has merely been "received," indicating that no action would be taken on it.
Newdow had requested that Rehnquist, designated as the justice to hear emergency appeals from the DC Circuit, recuse himself, alleging that because he is scheduled to perform the swearing-in ceremony he had a conflict of interest.
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