Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The American Legion asks federal court to keep “in God we trust” on U.S. currency

Largest veteran’s organization in America files brief asking for the dismissal of a lawsuit to remove “In God We Trust” from national currency

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, May 17, 2016 – Today, in defense of the National Motto, First Liberty Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of The American Legion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in the case of New Doe Child #1 v. The Congress of the United StatesRead the brief 

A group of atheists, humanists and others have filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding the removal of the National Motto, “In God We Trust,” from U.S. currency. The Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and, today, The American Legion, the largest veterans organization in America with over 2 million members, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the motion, asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. 

In the brief, First Liberty notes that federal courts at every level have repeatedly upheld the National Motto as constitutional. They explain that the phrase “In God We Trust” is deeply rooted in American history and not only appears on U.S. currency, but is also displayed on prominent government property. 

Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, says, “Our National Motto is deeply embedded in the history of our nation and serves both a historical and secular purpose.  The federal government’s decision to display it on our currency promotes patriotism and recognition of our national heritage. It is completely appropriate and lawful to include the Motto on our currency. Banning the national motto would be both unlawful and wrong.”    

Justin Butterfield, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute and frequent FOT guest, says, “The Supreme Court has described the National Motto, “In God We Trust,” as consistent with the U.S. Constitution. It appears on government buildings across the country, including the House and Senate Chambers and the Washington Monument. As every federal appeals court to have heard the issue has upheld ‘In God We Trust’ as lawful, we have asked the Court to dismiss the lawsuit.” 

In the brief, the attorneys say, “The American Legion believes that our National Motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ itself originating in Francis Scott Key’s poem that would become ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and honoring the courage and valor of our service members who defended Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, is a fitting and solemnizing motto for this nation. The American Legion has, therefore—as recognized even in Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint—regularly advocated for the recognition and honor of our National Motto as well as its history and heritage.” Read the brief  

About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans. 

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