Raleigh, N.C. - James M. Honeycutt, a North Carolina district judge, had revised the courtroom procedures to use an oath omitting the phrase "so help you God." He also prohibited the statement "God save the state and this honorable court" from being used to open court sessions. Bailiffs who did not follow his instructions, administering the oath according to state law, would be held in contempt of court.
Officials in Iredell and Davidson counties filed a complaint over the judge’s decision, stating that Judge Honeycutt had overstepped his authority in changing courtroom procedures.
On June 29, the state Supreme Court, in an increasingly rare judicial move, ordered the judge to restore the references to God.
Honeycutt claimed that he revised the oath because of the many non-Christians served by the court system.