Thursday, March 11, 2010

Newdow v. Lefevre (9th Cir. - March 11, 2010)

That money in your pocket is just fine.

Rounding out the high-profile religion cases from today, the Ninth Circuit holds that the "In God We Trust" motto on U.S. coins and currency doesn't violate the First Amendment either.

The Ninth Circuit holds Newdow's got standing to raise a claim to the contrary -- though lacks standing to object to the federal statute that makes "In God We Trust" the national motto -- but holds on the merits that there's no Establishment Clause violation.

This decision is from the same panel that split 2-1 in the Pledge of Allegiance case: Judge Nelson, Reinhardt and Bea. But this time the decision is 2 1/2 to 1. Judge Bea again writes the majority opinion, and Judge Nelson again joins. But this time Judge Reinhardt concurs in the result. Saying, essentially, that given the crappy Pledge case, which he hates but which as of today is the law of the circuit, he's constrained to dismiss the Coin case as well.

So there you have it. Another Ninth Circuit decision that's not going en banc and that's not going to be reversed by the Supreme Court.