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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Jul 8, 2019

The United States national motto was declared by Congress as “In God We Trust”. This motto promotes patriotism and references the country’s religious heritage and is protected under the law. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


The State of Mississippi has a new license plate, but not everyone is happy about it.  To understand why, you need a little background.

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, very 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, it serves a secular purpose of promoting patriotism, and is simply a reference to our religious heritage.

So, now back to Mississippi’s license plates which have been redesigned to feature in the background the national motto. Someone with an axe to grind about the appearance of the letters “G,” “O,” and “D” in succession and in public sent a letter to the state’s revenue commissioner claiming the new design violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Well, First Liberty sent its own letter.  Not only did we explain that the license plates featuring the national motto is perfectly acceptable under the law, we offered to represent the state—for free—should anyone be foolish enough to actually file a lawsuit over it.

Hopefully no lawsuit comes and our services won’t be needed, but Mississippi is safe to include the national motto on its license plates.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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