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First Liberty Institute to Mississippi: In God We Trust License Plate is Constitutional

1163 Days ago

Religious liberty law firm responds to outside anti-religion group’s demand that state drop national motto from license plates

CLINTON, Miss., April 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Liberty Institute sent a letter to Mississippi Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson confirming that the inclusion of the state seal, including the words “In God We Trust,” on a license plate is constitutionally permissible.

You can read the letter, here.

“Courts have repeatedly deemed our national motto constitutional,” said Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel to First Liberty Institute. “Expressing the national motto—through private or government speech—is a part of our national heritage and long a part of our history. Government officials in Mississippi should ignore these outside activists’ attempts to bully them with dubious legal claims.”

A new standard Mississippi license plate has been sold since January.  The center of the plate displays the state seal, which includes the national motto, “In God We Trust.”  Mississippi also offers several specialty plates for a nominal fee.  Recently, the American Humanist Association sent a letter to Mississippi officials claiming that the inclusion of the national motto on the license plate is unconstitutional.

In its letter, First Liberty states, “In 1956, the U.S Congress declared “In God We Trust” to be the national motto.  Since then, the Supreme Court of the United States has routinely acknowledged the important, constitutional, place phrases like, ‘In God We Trust’ have played in the history and heritage of our country.  In fact, the Supreme Court has consistently indicated that the national motto plainly does not advance religion, serves a secular purpose of promoting patriotism, and is simply a reference to our religious heritage.”

First Liberty Institute is currently engaged in litigation against the American Humanist Association at the Supreme Court of the United States in the matter of The American Legion, et al. v. American Humanist Association, et al.  A decision in that case is expected in June.

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

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