@NCCapitol

Judge blocks issuing 'Choose Life' plates in NC

Posted November 28, 2011

— A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked North Carolina from issuing special anti-abortion license plates.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union suing to prevent the "Choose Life" plates, alleging that they violate the First Amendment because there's no specialty plate for supporters of abortion rights.

U.S. District Judge James Fox issued a temporary injunction to stop the Division of Motor Vehicles from issuing the plates until the suit could be heard.

"This case is ultimately about free speech and equal treatment for all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on abortion," Katy Parker, legal director for the ACLU's North Carolina Legal Foundation, said in a statement. "The state should not be allowed to use its authority to promote one side of a debate while denying the same opportunity to the other side."

Twenty-nine states either already make "Choose Life" plates available or have approved such plates but have not manufactured them.

But the plates have a mixed record when it comes to court challenges, with some judges ruling states can sell them and others siding with challengers who say the plates are unconstitutional.

121 Comments

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  • bluewind Nov 29, 3:35 p.m.

    Wrong follow the money! There are millions of people who care very much what is that "man made" book! Obviously you don't, so please don't bother responding...

  • ncdixie1 Nov 29, 1:50 p.m.

    Looks like many are misguided here. What makes ya'll think I give one ioda about what they do up in NJ & NY? We are talking about NC. I believe in keeping your pants up and your dress down. One plate for our state that doesn't include the Wright Brothers from Ohio on it.

  • Sherlock Nov 29, 11:12 a.m.

    What does it take to get a plate approved?

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Nov 29, 11:08 a.m.

    Plenty Coups...it's not do as "I" say...it's do as the BIBLE says...And it's not do as I believe...you are free to believe whatever you want.It's called free will...I can tell you are passionate about your beliefs...you've had a lot to say here. Too bad you are so misguided...
    bluewind
    November 29, 2011 10:37 a.m.
    Report abuse

    No one cares what your 10000 times over again translated man made book with missing pieces says. Where did the Book of Enoch go? Why are there so many different translations? Are you insane? Talk about misguided.

  • bluewind Nov 29, 10:37 a.m.

    Plenty Coups...it's not do as "I" say...it's do as the BIBLE says...And it's not do as I believe...you are free to believe whatever you want.It's called free will...I can tell you are passionate about your beliefs...you've had a lot to say here. Too bad you are so misguided...

  • Objective Scientist Nov 29, 10:05 a.m.

    All this about license plates? IMO - the "personalized" plate situation has become ridiculous. Not too long ago anyone could determine by a "mere glance" the state from which a license plate was issued... NO MORE! I truly empathize and sympathize with law enforcement having to attempt to "read" a plate. As long as it does not contain profanity and/or is "vulgar" it appears that as soon as the number of applications reach the magic number... a plate can be issued that promotes and/or proclaims almost anything! Some plates "raise money" for some good causes... but perhaps we should go back to "standard plates" for all. That being said... with such an issue as "Choose Life" or "Pro-Choice", I unequivocally believe that if a plate is "allowed" for one - it must be allowed for the other.

  • edith wharton Nov 29, 9:39 a.m.

    People are certainly allowed their viewpoints. If this plate were approved, I would expect that other plates would not be blocked from approval. Sadly, that is not what has happened here. Nor, honestly, would I expect it to be. NC has a terrible track record for allowing all views to be expressed.

  • DavidJonathan Nov 29, 9:30 a.m.

    We probably ought to keep partisan/religious/personal issues off of plates altogether. I have to admit I really don't want to see plates celebrating the choice of abortion as if it were something to be celebrated. I think celebrating life is more positive, but I can see where others don't want to see my viewpoint on state-issued plates either.

  • Plenty Coups Nov 29, 8:13 a.m.

    brightlight-"What do you mean, specifically? The case was whether the "choose life" plate could be offered. There was no pro-choice plate at all."

    That those states are unlike this state. Alternative pro-choice plates were brought up here in NC and were denied by republicans six times. A clear case of "freedom of speech for those who only have our viewpoint." NY and NJ haven't had alternative plates suggested yet to my knowledge.

  • BrightLight Nov 28, 7:53 p.m.

    "Yes, but they also made it clear they couldn't censor other viewpoints." What do you mean, specifically? The case was whether the "choose life" plate could be offered. There was no pro-choice plate at all.

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