Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow

Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow - Elk Grove...

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Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004) Facts: In 2000, Michael Newdow, an atheist, challenged the constitutionality of Elk Grove Unified School District’s requirement that teacher lead their classes in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance because it contains the words “under God.” Newdow contended that the words “under God,” violated the 1 st Amendment. At the time his daughter was in kindergarten and Newdow was in a custody battle with her mother, Sandra Banning. At the end of the custody battle, Newdow and Banning shared physical custody while Banning was awarded exclusive legal custody. A federal district court dismissed Newdow’s complaint because he did not have the legal custody of his daughter and therefore could not bring a suit on her behalf. The Ninth Circuit reversed the decision stating that Newdow did have standing. Banning filed a motion to have the case dismissed on the ground that she was the sole legal custodian and that she did not feel that it was in her daughter’s interest to be a party to the suit. The Ninth Circuit reaffirmed.
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2008 for the course POSC 340 taught by Professor Auerbach during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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