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Constitutional Challenge to Religious Elements of Presidential Inaugural Ceremony

By FindLaw Staff on May 07, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Newdow v. Roberts, No. 09-5126, concerned a constitutional challenge to religious elements of the presidential inaugural ceremony.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the action on the ground that plaintiffs' claims regarding the 2009 inaugural ceremony were moot and plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the 2013 and 2017 inaugurations.

As the court wrote:  "Even if we assume plaintiffs' challenge is capable of repetition, they are barred from asserting it evaded review because plaintiffs failed to appeal the district court's denial of their preliminary injunction motion. Had plaintiffs pursued an appeal of that denial and had the preliminary injunction been granted, their case would not have become moot. This circuit--along with every other circuit to have considered the issue--has held that "a litigant who could have but did not file for a stay to prevent a counter-party from taking any action that would moot his case may not, barring exceptional circumstances, later claim his case evaded review." Armstrong v. FAA, 515 F.3d 1294, 1297 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (citing consistent cases from other circuits)."

Related Resources

Full Text of Newdow v. Roberts, No. 09-5126

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