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Fight over 'Choose Life' on NJ plates revived
star ledger ^ | April 10, 2010

Posted on 04/25/2010 1:19:02 PM PDT by Coleus

A nonprofit group's effort to get a specialty New Jersey license plate with the tagline "Choose Life" has been revived by a federal appeals court. State officials argued that they have the right to reject plate slogans that may be deemed political, religious or otherwise controversial. A U.S. district judge agreed, dismissing a 2008 lawsuit filed the New York-based Children First Foundation.

The group appealed, and a three-judge panel revived the suit yesterday on the grounds that the state's decision may have amounted to impermissible "viewpoint discrimination."

"The court should have focused on whether the prohibition of certain advocacy messages and the permission of others based solely on the viewpoints expressed constituted such a violation," Judge Theodore McKee wrote. Anti-abortion groups have won approval in at least 18 states for specialized license plates with the tagline "Choose Life." But officials in New Jersey and other states have fought the requests.

The case will now be sent back to U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano for further proceedings. "Censoring the 'Choose Life' logo on New Jersey license plates is a textbook case of viewpoint discrimination, which blatantly defies the First Amendment," said Jeff Shafter, senior legal director of the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group that backed the suit.

The New Jersey Attorney General's Office, which argued the case, did not immediately return a message late yesterday.

In oral arguments a year ago, McKee suggested that states may have courted controversy when they started issuing specialty plates to boost revenues.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: New Jersey; US: New York; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: chooselife; freespeech; licenseplates; prolife

1 posted on 04/25/2010 1:19:03 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: wagglebee

for your ping list!

2 posted on 04/25/2010 2:01:44 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: Coleus

“viewpoint discrimination””

That’s a new one to me but I like it. All the lamebrains in the country complain about one kind of discrimination or another and I think this one is for us!!! Think it would work?

3 posted on 04/25/2010 2:14:52 PM PDT by Thank You Rush
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

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