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Michael Newdow

Michael NewdowAKA Michael A. Newdow

Born: 24-Jun-1953
Birthplace: Bronx, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Waged war against "under God"

Michael Newdow is the Sacramento, California emergency room doctor who argued Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow before the US Supreme Court in March 2004. The case was aimed at excising the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, which Newdow believes violates the legal doctrine of separation of church and state. In his suit, the doctor essentially claimed that his 10-year-old daughter was being brainwashed every time she was prompted to recite the Pledge in her elementary school classroom.

The US Supreme Court dismissed Newdow's case on 14 June 2004 -- exactly 50 years to the day after President Eisenhower signed the law adding the words "under God". The Supreme Court held that since Newdow happened to be in the middle of a bitter custody battle, he doesn't have legal standing to sue on behalf of his daughter. The girl's mother, Sandra Banning, happens to be a devout Christian, so no help there.

Incidentally, Newdow claims he was the victim of date rape, perpetrated by Banning during a camping trip at Yosemite National Park. "I specifically said 'no' multiple times before and during [sex]. Was I forced into being a father? Yeah." He also sometimes refers to himself (even in some court documents) as "The Rev. Dr. Michael Newdow, Esq." of the "First Amendmist Church of True Science".

According to New York Times columnist William Safire: "The only thing this time-wasting pest Newdow has going for him is that he's right."

Mother: Rosalyn Newdow
Girlfriend: Sandra Banning (ex-)
Daughter: (b. 1994)

    High School: Teaneck High School, Teaneck, NJ (1970)
    University: BS Biology, Brown University (1974)
    Medical School: University of California at Los Angeles (1978)
    Law School: JD, University of Michigan (1988)

    Secular Coalition for America Advisory Board
    Raped (date rape) Yosemite National Park, 1993
    Ordained by the Universal Life Church Minister (1977)
    Assisted by the ACLU

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