The U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a challenge to “In God We Trust” on the nation’s coins and currency Monday, refusing to consider a Sacramento man’s claim that the national motto is a government endorsement of religion.
Michael Newdow, an atheist, has filed numerous lawsuits against government-sponsored religious invocations, including the words “under God” that were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with him in 2002 that the phrase was religiously motivated and that it sent a message to nonbelievers that they were outsiders. But the Supreme Court dismissed the suit in 2007, saying Newdow lacked standing to represent the interests of his daughter, an elementary school student, because the child’s mother had custody of her.