US court blocks atheist 'God' case

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The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an atheist's latest challenge to the government's references to God.

Michael Newdow says government references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs.

This appeal dealt with the inscription of the national motto "In God We Trust" on US coins and currency.

An appeals court says the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and "has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion".

The supreme court today refused to hear Newdow's appeal against that decision.

"In God We Trust" was first put on US coins in the 1860s and on paper currency in the 1950s.