Appeals court rejects currency challenge
A federal court has rejected a legal challenge to the use of “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency. In a ruling the last week of May, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a 2016 lawsuit.
The complaint was filed on behalf of about three dozen individuals and atheist groups, including Michigan Atheists and the Northern Ohio Freethought Society. The atheists challenged the motto on several constitutional grounds, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
However, in its ruling, the court said that while plaintiffs alleged they faced societal bias and stigma because of their beliefs, they failed to present factual evidence demonstrating any direct injuries.
In response to a claim that “In God We Trust” is designed to promote Christianity, the court said that “intent to promote one religion is not necessarily intent to suppress another.”
It also affirmed an earlier ruling that the plaintiffs did not face a substantial burden on their religious exercise, since they could avoid cash by using credit cards and checks.