Friday, April 28, 2000

Congressmen seek vote on Ohio motto

The Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — If U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley gets his way, 435 more voices will express opinions about Ohio's state motto, “With God, all things are possible,” which a federal court ruled unconstitutional.

        Mr. Oxley and U.S. Rep. Tony Hall, a Dayton-area Democrat, said Thursday that they will introduce a resolution in the 435-member House stating that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit misinterpreted the Constitution.

        “Surely, this simple expression of faith and optimism is not offensive to anyone and does not promote any specific religious belief,” said Mr. Oxley, a Republican from Findlay.

        “The drafters of our Constitution would certainly disagree with the court decision,” said Mr. Hall. “Will we have to remove the motto "In God We Trust' from all our coins?”

        The House is in recess, but Mr. Oxley said they plan to introduce the resolution when business resumes next week.

        If the resolution is adopted, the House's opinion would be on record, though in a way that lacks the force of law. Such nonbinding resolutions are intended to make a point or get the attention of decision-makers. In this case, they are appellate judges or U.S. Supreme Court justices who will next get the case.

        In the decision this week by the appeals court, the American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the motto on the grounds that it comes from a Bible passage, Matthew 19:26.


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