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Judge Says Obama Can Reference God at Inauguration

WASHINGTON --- U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton Thursday rebuked a group of atheists who said President-elect Barack Obama's reference to God during his presidential inauguration would violate their Constitutional rights.

Led by plaintiff Michael Newdow, the atheists filed a lawsuit against Obama's mention of "So help me God" during Tuesday's ceremony. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office.

The lawsuit also sought to bar prayers from Pastor Rick Warren, who is scheduled to give the invocation.

A president is not required to say "So help me God" in his oath of office, but Obama has told Chief Justice Roberts that he wants those words included.



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