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Just in time for Roe v. Wade anniversary - Choose Life Plates
The Capitol Fax ^ | 1-22-2007 | Rich Miller

Posted on 01/22/2007 4:19:33 PM PST by spintreebob

U.S. District Judge David Coar ruled Friday that (IL) Secretary of State Jesse White’s office violated the First Amendment when it refused to make license plates saying “Choose Life.”

*** UPDATE *** The Choose Life IL people told me they’ll be posting a press release relatively soon on their website. It appears that just about everybody is in DC for the march today.

Jesse White spokesman Dave Druker: “We’re studying the opinion. We’re going to ask the Attorney general to appeal it… We don’t think we have the authority without legislative approval to create the license plates.”

From the opinion: …this court concludes that the privately-crafted and privately-funded message on specialty license plates constitutes private speech.

Also from the opinion: Where the government voluntarily provides a forum for private expression, the government may not discriminate against some speakers because of their viewpoint. If the government is not expressing its own policy, it presumptively violates the First Amendment when it picks and chooses access to the forum on the basis of views expressed by the private speakers.

Defendant’s main argument is that the license plate message is state speech, and thus not subject to First Amendment protection. However, it has been determined that the added message of specialty license plates constitute private speech, and thus the First Amendment is implicated.

By its terms, the statute does not require enabling legislation before a new category of specialty license plates may be issued.

Defendant requires that the General Assembly must approve specialty plates. Defendant has required that legislation be introduced and approved by both chambers of the General Assembly, and signed into law by the Governor, in order to approve the specialty plates. These requirements for specialty plates are not included in the statute authorizing specialty plates… and there are no substantive criteria or guidelines for the approval of the specialty license plates by the General Assembly and the Governor. Katie, bar the door.

Just to be clear, I don’t have a position one way or another on the Choose Life plates. But, as I noted in comments, if all specialty plates are now to be considered “private speech,” I’m wondering what sort of road we’re heading down.

I’m about as free speech as a person can get. But I do think that the state probably ought to control what goes on license plates. Then again, the ensuing craziness will undoubtedly be a lot of fun. So, perhaps I’m a bit torn.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: chooselife; ilinois; life; prolife
What is the opposing opinion? Choose Death? On a license plate?
1 posted on 01/22/2007 4:19:34 PM PST by spintreebob
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To: spintreebob

I doubt this judgement will stand. The conservative Fourth District Court of Appeals has found 'Choose Life' plates to be unconstitutional, with conservative judges Luttig and Wilkinson voting with the majority.


2 posted on 01/22/2007 4:22:02 PM PST by LtdGovt ("Where government moves in, community retreats and civil society disintegrates" -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: LtdGovt

Fourt CIRCUIT Court


3 posted on 01/22/2007 4:22:22 PM PST by LtdGovt ("Where government moves in, community retreats and civil society disintegrates" -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: LtdGovt; Coleus

http://www.choose-life.org/

Many other states have adopted these. The proceeds go to Adoption agencies. And your problem is....?


4 posted on 01/22/2007 4:25:09 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Frank Sheed

I don't have a problem with it, I do hope that people will refrain from choosing to have an abortion. I just expect that the Supreme Court will have a problem with it.


5 posted on 01/22/2007 4:31:29 PM PST by LtdGovt ("Where government moves in, community retreats and civil society disintegrates" -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


6 posted on 01/22/2007 4:42:18 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
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To: LtdGovt

The 5th Circuit and the 12th Circuit Courts found "Choose Life" okay for MS, LA, and FL. The US Supreme Court doens't want to get involved in the License Plate issue. The High Court let the opposite rulings in the 4th, 5th and 12th Circuit Courts stand.


7 posted on 01/22/2007 4:57:38 PM PST by Kuksool (I learned more about political science on FR than in college)
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To: 2nd amendment mama; A2J; Agitate; AliVeritas; Alouette; Annie03; aposiopetic; attagirl; Augie76; ...

ProLife Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

8 posted on 01/22/2007 10:01:13 PM PST by Mr. Silverback ("Safe sex? Not until they develop a condom for the heart."--Freeper All the Best)
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