Monday, June 12, 2006

District Court Rules Against Newdow

He might have better luck in the 9th Circuit.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. district court judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a California atheist against the U.S. government for its use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on its coins and currency.

I'm as surprised as I am thankful.

Judge Frank Damrell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held in his opinion that "In God We Trust" is secular in nature and use, and its appearance on coins and currency does not show government coercion on behalf of monotheism.

Newdow told Reuters he would appeal to the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in his favour in his "under God" lawsuit, a decision later overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found Newdow could sue not on behalf of his daughter because he lacked custody.

So, what happens if the 9th Circuit agrees with Newdow? Its rulings only apply in specific Western states. Would we not be able to use money with In God We Trust on it, but they could in the other states? How would the court enforce this ruling?


"The case is really straightforward. The history is overwhelmingly on my side," Newdow said.

He's right that the case is straightforward. But in what alternate universe is history "overwhelmingly" on his side? Has the concept of "ceremonial deism" never been adjudicated? Has the national motto never before been challenged? Have courts never ruled that government can deal with religion at all--military chaplains, a National Cathedral, a chaplain in the House of Representatives, the swearing of witnesses in court, the swearing in--on a Bible, no less!--of a President? Exactly how is history on his side at all? Unless he means the history of the 9th Circuit, in which case he might have a point.


Lillian said...

As an American, Mr. Newdow has every right to spend his money on these types of lawsuits; and, as an American, I have every right to PRAY for him in the Name of The One True and Living L-rd G-d - The Name of The One Who Mr. Newdow hates so very much.

L-rd, Bless Mr. Newdow, Amen!!!

EllenK said...

Mr. Newdow certainly can spend his money and time on court dates if he wants. I think I would have more sympathy for his cause if he daughter and ex-wife had expressed support for his views. As it is, this seems to be a quest for attention. No wonder his wife divorced him.

Darren said...

Lillian, is that a bit of old-school Judaism I detect in not writing out an entire word for the Creator?