Tag: license plates

S.C. Federal Judge:"I Believe" License Plates Violate First Amendment

A federal judge in South Carolina ruled yesterday that the state's "I Believe" license plates containing a picture of a religious cross, violate the First Amendment. His ruling is here (pdf).

The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly warned that “government may not promote or affiliate itself with any religious doctrine or organization.” .... This limitation on government action is based on the clear understanding of our founders that “a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and to degrade religion.”


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Anti-Abortion Group Loses Bid to Force State to Issue "Choose Life" Plates

Illinois drivers will continue to drive free of anti-abortion messages staring at them on license plates. The Supreme Court rejected a petition by Choose Life, Inc. to force the state to offer "Choose Life" plates.

The high court on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that state officials were within their rights in trying to keep viewpoints on abortion off of Illinois license plates. Choose Life Illinois, Inc. sued to force the state to issue the plates.

The 7th Circuit ruled it's not a free speech issue, because the plates are issued by the Government. The state government in Illinois said it does not want people to think it is taking a position on abortion.

"Choose Life" plates have been upheld in many states. Only two states have pro-choice plates:

Montana has a plate that says “Pro-Family, Pro-Choice,” and Hawaii has an official decal that says “Respect Choice.”

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