Eight Co-Plaintiffs Join Newdow in New Challenge to Pledge

Michael Newdow, the famed atheist who unsuccessfully challenged the “under God” phrase of the Pledge of Allegiance last year, has come back – this time with other parents who share his view.

Newdow challenged the “under God” phrase in the pledge last June at the U.S. Supreme Court, exactly 50 years after the phrase was inserted into the pledge in 1954. Newdow said his daughter should not have to pledge allegiance to God in her public school. The High Court rejected his case on technical grounds, however, since Newdow did not have the legal standing to represent his daughter, who is under the sole custody of her Christian mother.

According to the Associated Press, Newdow filed a federal lawsuit on January 4 in Sacramento California, with eight new co-plaintiffs. These new co-plaintiffs, unlike Newdow, have custodial authority over their children; their names have not been released, but they are either atheists, agnostics or pantheists, according to AP.


Newdow, who will be representing himself again, will ask the court to delete “under God” from the pledge, a challenge similar to one he brought on last year. Newdow’s daughter will not be a party in the pledge, since he does not have custody over his daughter, whose mother objects to the suit.