The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear atheist Michael Newdow’s appeal in Newdow v. Roberts, 10-757, in which Newdow took exception to Chief Justice John Roberts adding the phrase “so help me God” to President Obama’s inaugural oath of office.
Newdow, who has also argued against allowing the words “under God” in The Pledge of Allegiance as well as challenging the “In God We Trust” motto on U.S. currency, argued that the president’s use of the phrase “so help me God” in his oath was unconstitutional and infringed on his religious beliefs.
President Obama included the phrase “so help me God" during his inauguration just as every president before him has done since 1932 – even though the phrase is not in the official oath.
The oath, which every president must recite, comes from Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which says, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
In 2009, CNN reported that President Obama had indeed asked Chief Justice Roberts to conclude the oath with “so help me God.”