Thursday, May 29, 2014

2nd Circuit OK's "In God We Trust" On Money

In Newdow v. Peterson, (2d Cir., May 28, 2014), the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to 31 U.S.C. §§ 5112(d)(1) and 5114(b), which require that the national motto "In God We Trust" be placed on all coins and currency. The court agreed with 4 other Circuits that the statutory provisions do not violate the Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause, or RFRA, saying in part:
As the Supreme Court has repeatedly indicated in dicta, the statutes at issue in this case have a secular purpose and neither advance nor inhibit religion.....
Appellants argue that ... using currency ... requires them “to bear on their persons . . . a statement that attributes to them personally a perceived falsehood that is the antithesis of the central tenant of their religious system.”... Appellants also contend that using money forces them to proselytize.... We respectfully disagree....  As the Supreme Court has previously indicated, the carrying of currency, which is fungible and not publicly displayed, does not implicate concerns that its bearer will be forced to proclaim a viewpoint contrary to his own.
RNS reports on the decision.