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JewishJournal.com

September 10, 2011

North Carolina sued over ‘Choose Life’ license plates

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/north_carolina_sued_over_choose_life_license_plates_20110909/

Remember when Florida considered Christian-themed license plates? Or when North Dakota permitted the vanity plate “ISNOGOD”?

Well now North Carolina wants to offer license plates with the backdrop “Choose Life.” The ACLU doesn’t like it, and yesterday they filed suit. (Full complaint here.) The ACLU claims that the license plates violate the First Amendment, in particular because North Carolina legislators refuse to offer “Respect Choice” plates.

The Raleigh News & Observers explains:

“The state is opening up a forum to one side of the argument,” said Katherine Lewis Parker, the state’s ACLU legal director. “When they do that, they are constitutionally obligated to open to the other side.”

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“This is a free speech case - not an abortion case,” Parker said, suggesting her organization also would challenge the law if written the other way.

Significantly for the ACLU, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes North Carolina, struck down as unconstitutional a similar South Carolina law in 2004.

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