WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear an appeal alleging that the motto “In God We Trust” printed on American currency violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The nation’s highest court did not comment on why it rejected the petition filed by atheist Michael Newdow on behalf of the dozens of plaintiffs he gathered for the effort.
“Petitioners are atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in God. On the contrary, their sincere religious belief is that trusting in any God is misguided,” Newdow’s appeal to the Supreme Court read.
“Defendants have conditioned receipt of the important benefit of using the nation’s sole ‘legal tender’ upon conduct proscribed by
Petitioners’ atheism (i.e., upon Petitioners’ personally bearing – and proselytizing – a religious message that is directly contrary to the central idea that underlies their religious belief system),” it argued.
As previously reported, Newdow, who has filed numerous suits challenging the mixture of God and government, first submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York in March 2013, asserting that the motto violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution as it serves to proselytize unbelievers.
But in September of that year, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr., nominated by Bill Clinton, rejected Newdow’s arguments, opining that “the inclusion of the motto on U.S. currency . . . does not violate the Establishment Clause [of the Constitution].”
He consequently appealed his case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, but
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