U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
“In God We Trust” — National Currency
Newdow v. United States
Judges Parker, Hall and Matsumoto
Background: The plaintiff appealed from the dismissal of his Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause claims in which he challenged the national motto “In God We Trust,” on this country’s paper currency and coinage.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. The court held that the phrase does not violate the First Amendment or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as the phrase, and the statutes that enable its use, do not have a religious purpose or advance religion, nor do these statutes place a substantial burden on the plaintiff’s religious practices.
Michael Newdow, pro se; Michael J. Byars, assistant United States attorney, for the defendants-appellees