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Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:23 PM

'IM GOD' license plate victory final (Kentucky to pay more than $150,000)


A federal judge has ordered the state of Kentucky to pay more than $150,000 to the groups representing a freethinker denied a license plate saying “IM GOD.”

The court ruled today, Feb. 10, that the state has to pay for work performed by Freedom From Religion Foundation and ACLU-Kentucky attorneys for the time spent pursuing Ben Hart’s case. The court had cleared the way last November for Hart, backed by the two organizations, to obtain a personalized license plate reading “IM GOD,” finding that the Transportation Cabinet’s denial of that plate violated the First Amendment.

In November 2016, Hart filed a lawsuit after Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle officials called his “IM GOD” license plate message “obscene or vulgar.” Later, the state said the plate was rejected because it was “not in good taste.” The lawsuit, filed on Hart’s behalf by FFRF and ACLU of Kentucky, challenged the Transportation Cabinet’s denial of his plate based on statutory viewpoint restrictions that communicate religious or anti-religious messages. Kentucky had approved a variety of personalized religious plates.

“The Commonwealth [of Kentucky] went too far,” the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Court of Kentucky ruled in favor of Hart three years later. “To allow such plates as ‘IM4GOD’ and ‘LUVGOD’ but reject ‘IM GOD’ belies viewpoint neutrality,” the court stated.

Hart received his plate (seen in the picture) just a few weeks ago. FFRF hails the final decision — and the fact that Hart can finally express himself through his license plate.

“Groups such as ours have to put in a lot of work to ensure the constitutional rights of ordinary folks,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We truly appreciate that the court recognizes this.”

FFRF and ACLU of Kentucky member Ben Hart is a Postal Service retiree and married to his middle school sweetheart. Although raised in a religious family, he began to question religion as a child and now identifies as an atheist. Listen to a radio show interview with him.

ACLU of Kentucky Attorneys Corey Shapiro and Heather Gatnarek represented Hart alongside Rebecca Markert, Patrick Elliott and Colin McNamara of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

link

LOL

Al

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Reply 'IM GOD' license plate victory final (Kentucky to pay more than $150,000) (Original post)
yortsed snacilbuper Feb 14 OP
maxsolomon Feb 14 #1
Talitha Feb 14 #2
Totally Tunsie Feb 15 #3
DFW Feb 15 #4
JustABozoOnThisBus Feb 15 #5
DFW Feb 15 #6

Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:00 PM

1. Ben Hart is my new hero.

Suck it, Kentucky DMV.

I encourage them to END the personalized license plate program in reaction.

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:09 PM

2. VERY valid point - I'm glad he won.

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Original post)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 04:27 AM

3. HEY!!! That's my co-pilot!

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Original post)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 05:54 AM

4. When people stop him and ask him to make it rain.....

He can just say "I'm just his driver. He's in the back seat. YOU ask him."

All the same, being Kentucky, I wouldn't recommend a license plate saying "IM ALLAH" even it's allowed.

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Response to DFW (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 06:55 AM

5. I don't know how much money Kentucky makes from personalized plates, ...

... but I bet it's a lot more than 150k. So they're unlikely to stop the program.

I guess they should just stop applying standards, let people buy "IM ALLAH" and "F*CK YOU", then let any public outcry be settled by road rage incidents.



Does Germany (or its states) issue vanity plates?



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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 07:17 AM

6. No such thing here

With their "the state always knows best" mentality, such individualism rarely makes any headway here.

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