The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up a legal argument by atheist groups that sought to remove the words “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency, the Liberty Counsel reported Tuesday.
Michael Newdow, an activist who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of atheists, argued that the law to inscribe the nation’s motto on U.S. money was a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion.
However, a lower court ruled that the phrase “does not compel citizens to engage in a religious observance” and dismissed the case.
The challengers also claimed the message on U.S. currency forces “Petitioners (who are atheists) to bear and proselytize that monotheistic message.”
The Supreme Court declined to take up the case.
Newdow previously brought case in 2004, arguing the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First Amendment. That case was also unsuccessful before the Supreme Court.
In addition to the court rulings, Congress has repeatedly upheld the phrase “In God We Trust” as the national motto.
The phrase appeared on coins in 1864. Congress passed legislation in 1955, approved by President Dwight Eisenhower the following year, which required paper and coin currency to bear the words, the Liberty Counsel said.