The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned back – again – a demand from an atheist who insists on removing any reference to “God” from the discourse of government.
There are references to a deity on money – the motto “In God We Trust” – and in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as in other scenarios.
Michael Newdow, who has lost other, similar, cases at the high court already, was unsuccessful again when on Monday the justices declined to take up Newdow’s latest fight.
He was targeting the inscription “In God We Trust” on coins and currency.
The Washington Examiner reported Newdow, “an activist who filed the case on behalf of a group of atheists,” claimed that the instructions from Congress to the Treasury Department to include the words violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
That prevents Congress from setting up a national church.
The words first appeared on coins in 1864 and in 1955 Congress decided to have it on all coins and currency.
Newdow’s claim had stated that the government was turning atheists into “political outsiders” with the decision.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had similarly rejected his claim last year.
Besides “In God We Trust,” and “Under God” in the Pledge, he’s also demanded that high government officials such as Supreme Court justices and presidents be censored from stating “So help me God,” when they affirm an oath to uphold the Constitution.
WND has reported on his fight against references to “God” for nearly two decades.
When the 6th Circuit threw out his case last year, it ruled the motto doesn’t burden atheists’ free exercise, nor does it impact their free pssech.
“The court ruled that the national motto is a symbol of common national identity and did not discriminate against or suppress plaintiffs’ beliefs,” the American Center for Law and Justice said at that time.
The court had said, “Because plaintiffs do not allege that the motto is attributed to them and because the Supreme Court has reasoned that currency is not ‘readily associated with’ its temporary carrier, the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ Free Speech claim.”
Newdow’s claim was that “the mere presence of the national motto on currency violates their Free Speech and Free Exercise Clause rights. The atheists asserted that carrying currency equated to governmental compulsion to speak in support of the national motto and to bear a ‘religiously offensive’ message, in violation of the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”
“Every court that has considered any challenge to the national motto has rejected it. When we filed our amicus brief, we let the court know we were representing over 315,000 supporters who signed on to our Committee to Defend ‘In God We Trust’ – Our National Motto – on Our Currency,” ACLJ said.