Oct. 21, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 3

Boisi Event Studies Pledge Issue

Michael Newdow, a California lawyer and physician who has led efforts to remove religious references from the Pledge of Allegiance and American currency, will be part of a panel discussion, "Religious Freedom and the Pledge of Allegiance," on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Fulton Debate Room (Gasson 305).

Joining Newdow on the panel will be Prof. Alan Wolfe (Political Science), director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, the event's sponsor; lawyer and social critic Wendy Kaminer; and Tufts University Assistant Professor Vincent Phillip Munoz MA'95, a scholar of political philosophy and American constitutional law.

Newdow attracted national attention when he took the Sacramento school district to court because it mandated students, including his daughter, must recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He claimed that the presence of "under God" in the Pledge violated the separation between church and state and was therefore unconstitutional.

A California court upheld him, but the US Supreme Court ruled against Newdow, largely on the grounds that he had no legal standing to bring the case, as he had never married his daughter's mother and was in the midst of a custody battle.

Newdow brought the case again to the court in 2005, this time with other parents. He also has filed a legal challenge to the national motto "In God We Trust."

For more information, call ext. 2-1860, or see

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