Judge Dismisses Case Challenging County's Invocation And "In God We Trust" Motto

Oct 16, 2012, 11:35 ET from Liberty Institute

Liberty Institute Applauds Summary Judgment Ruling Supporting Wood County's Right to Open Sessions in Prayer and to Display National Motto "In God We Trust"

QUITMAN, Texas, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Liberty Institute and its local counsel Bryan Hughes on behalf of the Wood County Commissioner's Court applauds the ruling of a state district judge who granted a summary judgment, dismissing the lawsuit against the County for opening its sessions in prayer and for displaying in its courtroom America's national motto "In God We Trust." The ruling was made during a summary judgment hearing at the Wood County Courthouse in Quitman, Texas.

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"We are very thankful that the district court today followed clearly established precedent recognizing the constitutionality of displaying the national motto and having prayer before the county's meetings," said Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute general counsel.

Hughes, a local attorney, added, "I am so glad that we live in a country that still honors the traditions of our founders—the importance of prayer and displaying "In God We Trust" in the courtroom."

Wood County Resident Charles F. Scott brought the lawsuit claiming that the Wood County Commissioners Court's display of the national motto "In God We Trust" in its courtroom and the beginning of their meetings with a public invocation violate the First Amendment. 

Established by law as the national motto in 1956, the inscription of "In God We Trust" can be found in the U.S. and Texas Houses of Representatives and many other courtrooms and council halls across the nation.

In the 1983 case of Marsh v. Chambers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayers is constitutional.

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

SOURCE Liberty Institute