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A federal district court decision from earlier this year upheld the constitutionality of displaying the national motto in Tennessee schools.

A father of a student at a public charter school had objected to the display of “In God We Trust” inside the entryway of the school. The father filed a lawsuit claiming he was raising his daughter non-religious and argued the display was unconstitutional.

District Judge Aleta Trauger pointed out the motto has been upheld under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in similar cases previously.

Trauger wrote the entire display contains no religious symbolism or references and reflects no intention on the part of the school to establish or promote a religion.

“It is not coercive; and it does not involve any excessive entanglement of a government institution and religion,” the decision said in part.

An effort to require the national motto to be displayed in Iowa schools failed to advance in the Iowa House a few years ago. The teachers’ union opposed the effort.


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