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Old 12-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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Judge finds NC 'Choose Life' plates unconstitutional

Quote:
A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina's decision to issue special anti-abortion license plates is unconstitutional because the state doesn't offer similar plates supporting abortion rights.

U.S. District Court Judge James Fox ruled on Friday that the state's attempt to offer only the “Choose Life” plates represents "viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment."

Fox last year blocked the state from issuing the plates while a suit by the American Civil Liberties Union was pending....


[. . . ]


North Carolina lawmakers authorized the "Choose Life" plate in 2011, with a portion of the proceeds from sales of the plates earmarked for a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers. The law prohibited money from the plates from going to any group that promoted abortion.


Meanwhile, lawmakers defeated various amendments to the bill that created the "Choose Life" plate that would have also authorized plates that would have stated “Trust Women. Respect Choice” or “Respect Choice.”


Rep. Mitch Gillespie, R-McDowell, sponsored the bill for the "Choose Life" plate, and he said Monday that he will encourage the North Carolina Attorney General's Office to appeal the decision....
The AG is a Democrat, btw.


Quote:
...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....
http://www.wral.com/judge-finds-nc-c...onal/11861952/

Our justice system working well, I think I'm sure the representatives voted the way their constituents would have them vote (since the Republicans won the NC legislature recently), but these bills are not constitutional.

Yay!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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As a half-North Carolinian (my mom's from there) I am proud. Good news!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Out of curiosity, what else is allowed on the plates? I have seen people pulled over in the UK for having modified license plates. Maybe we need more slogans and things written on them so people will calm down with the ridiculous complaints.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
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Out of curiosity, what else is allowed on the plates? I have seen people pulled over in the UK for having modified license plates. Maybe we need more slogans and things written on them so people will calm down with the ridiculous complaints.
In NJ we have lots of slogans (with matching pics) on license plates, Including:

Cure Cancer
Preserve Wildlife
Preserve Our Beaches
War Veteran
Etc.

ETA: They charge extra for the plates, with the extra money going towards an associated charity or fund...
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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yay!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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In NJ we have lots of slogans (with matching pics) on license plates, Including:

Cure Cancer
Preserve Wildlife
Preserve Our Beaches
War Veteran
Etc.
It strikes me that we need more things which show that people have a passion for something - even if we, as individuals, disagree with the sentiments. There are too many people in the world who don't seem to give a damn, and these are excellent ways of showing support for something without going overboard.

I like seeing small slogans placed around. There's something reassuring about it - people can express their opinion without being beaten up for it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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It strikes me that we need more things which show that people have a passion for something - even if we, as individuals, disagree with the sentiments. There are too many people in the world who don't seem to give a damn, and these are excellent ways of showing support for something without going overboard.

I like seeing small slogans placed around. There's something reassuring about it - people can express their opinion without being beaten up for it.
Exactly, however, the state can't sanction politicized slogans, as a point of law, as in the OP...
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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people can express their opinion without being beaten up for it.
I wouldn't count on that. I had an anti-Bush bumper sticker on my car while driving through Tennessee a few years ago - and I was on the verge of calling 911 after nearly twenty minutes of 'highway tag' with some people who obviously disagreed with the sentiment.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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It strikes me that we need more things which show that people have a passion for something - even if we, as individuals, disagree with the sentiments. There are too many people in the world who don't seem to give a damn, and these are excellent ways of showing support for something without going overboard.

I like seeing small slogans placed around. There's something reassuring about it - people can express their opinion without being beaten up for it.
I second this 100%.

Plus, the crisis pregnancy centers (at least where I've volunteered) are not political organizations. They provide emotional support, clothing, food, and baby supplies to women who want to continue their pregnancies, but need some help. They also connect them with adoption agencies (if that's their choice) and educate them on what government assistance might be available.

In fact, the center refuses to get involved politically.

I'd much rather see plates for both sides than neither. This feels like a grown-up equivalent of two kids fighting over a toy and the teacher stepping in and saying, "Fine, if you can't share, neither of you can play."

Fair, sure. But kinda sad that a compromise couldn't be reached to make both sides happy.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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I'd much rather see plates for both sides than neither. This feels like a grown-up equivalent of two kids fighting over a toy and the teacher stepping in and saying, "Fine, if you can't share, neither of you can play."

Fair, sure. But kinda sad that a compromise couldn't be reached to make both sides happy.
I think they should have found the whole "government-approved messages" thing unconstitutional, IMO.

I'd much rather see no slogans at all on any government document (such as a license plate). The whole "this is a government-approved" message thing seems awfully squicky to me, and not something I care to participate in, for sure. What about equally-valid statements (and charities) that don't have the political suck to make the grade?

Unless I can supply my own slogan and charity, it's another case of government picking winners and losers, although a subtle one.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:38 PM   #11
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Honestly, I don't think any state should be allowed to sell plates advocating a particular political viewpoint at all. That's what license plate frames and bumper stickers are for.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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As a half-North Carolinian (my mom's from there) I am proud. Good news!
Ditto.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #13
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Here in AZ we have 56 different license plates. Including 'choose life'. There are only a few I think should be allowed, the 'real' one, handicapped, hearing impaired, and medal of honor. The rest, even though many are for good causes, just clutter up things. Some of them are very hard to read because of the backgrounds, and I would think it drives the cops nuts.

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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I guess I can agree with the fact that people can keep that to bumper stickers and such. I've never had a bumper sticker on my car. I like my car. Whenever I see "Obama is stupid," or "Bush is a monkey" type crap, I see a bit, fat bullseye for people who can't be counted on to behave like normal, rational people.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #15
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Add me to the list of people who don't believe the government should be promoting one cause or another. I can speak for myself without their approval.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #16
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Honestly, I don't think any state should be allowed to sell plates advocating a particular political viewpoint at all.
I agree with this.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #17
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Add me to the list of people who don't believe the government should be promoting one cause or another. I can speak for myself without their approval.
My thoughts too. I'm happy for this decision. The only reason for such focus is to raise money for the state since these focus plates are more expensive than the standard plates.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:03 PM   #18
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What if someone wanted a vanity plate saying CHS LFE?
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:03 PM   #19
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Mississippi has tons of plates, including Choose Life, Forestry, Protect Wildlife (your choice of a turkey, a fish, or a deer), the military ones, Antique Car, all the Universities, and even NASCAR (with your choice of number: 3, 24, 45, etc).

I'm cynical enough to say that all of them have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the state trying to find ways for the citizenry to pay more money. If they thought they could make more money off a "Respect Choice" plate, they would offer one.

I liked the regular plates myself: The Biloxi Lighthouse that survived Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005, and became a symbol of perseverance.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:14 PM   #20
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Add me to the list of people who don't believe the government should be promoting one cause or another. I can speak for myself without their approval.
Exactly. Freedom of thought/choice, thank you. I don't want or need the government's approval for every damned thing that I do or say. It's ridiculous enough as is. I'll support whatever charity I want.

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What if someone wanted a vanity plate saying CHS LFE?
Probably already taken.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:07 PM   #21
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What if someone wanted a vanity plate saying CHS LFE?
That's not the point. A person getting a vanity plate is different than the state having special plates that fund special interests.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:01 AM   #22
Celia Cyanide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrina S. Forest View Post
Plus, the crisis pregnancy centers (at least where I've volunteered) are not political organizations. They provide emotional support, clothing, food, and baby supplies to women who want to continue their pregnancies, but need some help. They also connect them with adoption agencies (if that's their choice) and educate them on what government assistance might be available.
I'm not opposed to crisis pregnancy centers because I think they are political organizations. I'm opposed to them because many of them try to attract women who are seeking abortions so that they can try to talk them out of it. They are not upfront about their agendas, and not upfront about the fact that they are NOT clinics.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #23
clintl
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson View Post
What if someone wanted a vanity plate saying CHS LFE?
That's a bit different, isn't it? That's someone making a personal statement, not a state deciding to promote one side's view while excluding the other side from the opportunity.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #24
Katrina S. Forest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celia Cyanide View Post
I'm not opposed to crisis pregnancy centers because I think they are political organizations. I'm opposed to them because many of them try to attract women who are seeking abortions so that they can try to talk them out of it. They are not upfront about their agendas, and not upfront about the fact that they are NOT clinics.
I do understand some are better than others, and I don't defend dishonesty. I can only speak from personal experience. Our center is very upfront about what we offer and what we do not. If a client calls and asks for a service we don't provide, we simply tell them, "I'm sorry, we don't offer that, but you're welcome to come in for[list of services we do provide], if you want."

We're there to help, not to pressure or judge. There are no baby pictures in our counseling room (even the clothes are kept in the back), and the only brochures we distribute are the ones with actual facts in them -- fetal development, mother's rights, ect. Sorry if I'm going on a tangent, I think I just get frustrated when the centers that aren't honest give a bad reputation to the ones that are.

EDIT: Back on topic, I do see a strong argument against the plates if it's a state where such things imply endorsement. But then, in that case, I would see a strong argument against just about any kind of special plate.
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Last edited by Katrina S. Forest; 12-14-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #25
Maxinquaye
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I thought this would be about banning the Trainspotting soliloquy.

Quote:
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.
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