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Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:13 PM

Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California [View all]

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Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California

Plus: National Labor Relations Board rules against The Federalist, France is getting less free, and more...
ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN | 11.25.2020 9:30 AM

QUEER, SLAAYRR license plates are OK, says judge. Thanks to the First Amendment, the state of California can't ban residents from vanity license plate messages that it deems "offensive to good taste and decency." A federal court ruled Tuesday that the state rule was an unconstitutional restriction on free expression.

The case against the California Department of Motor Vehicles—heard by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California— was brought by five people who were told their choices of vanity plate messages were off-limits. The five plaintiffs were represented by the libertarian law firm Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF).

"Vague bans on offensive speech allow bureaucrats to inject their subjective preferences and undermine the rule of law," said PLF's Wen Fa in a statement.

One of the people who filed the suit is a gay man who owns a record company called Queer Folks Records. He was originally told that he couldn't get a license plate saying QUEER because it was an insult. ... Another plaintiff—who loves the band Slayer—was denied a SLAAYRR license plate because the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said the message was "threatening, aggressive or hostile."


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Reply Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California [View all]
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2020 OP
hlthe2b Nov 2020 #1
alwaysinasnit Nov 2020 #2
RockRaven Nov 2020 #3
LSFL Nov 2020 #4
Karadeniz Nov 2020 #5
ExciteBike66 Nov 2020 #6