By Joe Sutton, CNN
(CNN) - A federal judge ruled that North Carolina's new "Choose Life" license plates are unconstitutional because the state does not offer a pro-choice alternative.
"The State's offering a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice alternative constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," U.S. District Court Judge James Fox wrote in the ruling Friday.
The ruling was praised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates.
"This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom," said Chris Brook of the ACLU. "The government cannot create an avenue of expression for one side of a contentious political issue while denying an equal opportunity to citizens with the opposite view."
Republican state Rep. Mitch Gillespie, who sponsored the bill for the "Choose Life" plates, said he would push for an appeal of the judge's decision, CNN affiliate WRAL reported.
The bill for the license plates passed in 2011, and the legislation also mandated that money raised from the sale of the specialty plates would go to a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers, WRAL reported.
During the fight to get the bill passed, North Carolina lawmakers voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives such as "Trust Women. Respect Choice," the affiliate reported.
The "Choose Life" plates are available in 29 states, according to Choose Life Inc., a nonprofit that helps states that want to sell these specialty plates.
Forgive us Americans, Lord... We know not what we do..
Ty - To the CONTRARY ! ! !
get off your knees, tyronne.
is your god that petty that he cares what's on a license plate?
Forgive us Americans, Mithra... We know not what we do..
Thatguy371 – When you finally mature, you'll cringe when you look back on your days of taking blogs so seriously.
I don't take blogs seriously much, and you don't seem to be bright enough to comment within the format of the blog... but then that would take common sense... something you're lacking.
the words are "CHOOSE LIFE". liberals have to make it about abortion and demand there to be a pro-choice version....
WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLATE SAYING CHOOSE LIFE? I am sure many other state's plate have statements that can be taken to mean different thing?
Liberals need to get a job. pay for what they want instead of tax the responsible people while siting at home and complain about everything they don't like... from displays in santa barbara to plates in NC... geez
brian, Choose Intelligence. Please.
Shut up. I'm liberal. I have a job, and i am almost certain i pay more in taxes than you even make. So your point is?
Are you just pretending to be so dense as to claim that it doesn't apply to abortion and isn't highly supported by anti-choice people?
Maybe you missed the part in the article where the proceeds were mandated by legislation to go to pregnancy crisis centers? Yeah, it totally wasn't about abortion.
On behalf of the millions of intelligent liberals, thank you for proving (yet again) your lack of common sense and intelligence. Makes it so easy to laugh off all of you repubs without a brain.
It's a bit of a generalization to lump all liberals into the catagory of lazy bums. Bu it's also a generalization to assume all liberals are pro-choice. A very large percentage of liberals have a christian-based faith and DO NOT support unchecked abortion.
Oh, and Scott... It's so nice to meet somebody as wealthy as you? Anytime you want to play winner-takes-all Roshambo with portfolios, just let me know.
Darren, please. Your idea of a portfolio is probably a picture of yourself. I'm certainly not going to place bets with anonymous folks on a website. But the point remains. Liberals are not a bunch of folks waiting for a handout. I pay more to the irs each year than median family income. And it should be more.
"Choose life" is just a tendentiously worded euphemism. It really means to take away a choice, doesn't it.
Then why use the phrase "Pro-Life?" Unless you are committing suicide, everyone in this country, if not the world, is "pro-life."
Why can't people call it what it is? "Anti-Choice." I mean, that IS WHAT IT IS! It is not "anti-abortion, because virtually no one thinks that abortion is a "good" thing.
Life has nothing to do with it.
It should say choose fetus...once it's actually born they couldn't care less what happens to it
So, I can't have a specialty plate for Amnesty International unless People for Political Imprisonment and Torture can have their plate too? PLEASE!
Yes. Your point is?
Actually no, mainly because this is an exercise in common sense... unlike yours
Another activist driver who chooses NOT to drive around with a Choose Life plate, so without an alternative, I guess I'll just drive around without a plate as I would rather be punished for no plate than being forced to tag my car with one I do not support
Hmm. There is no requirement that you have a vanity plate. So your point is???
50% of American women will have an unwanted pregnancy in their lifetime. The Republicans want the government to force these women to bring their pregnancy to term. Unwanted children are MUCH more likely to be abused.
Therefore, Republicans are pro child abuse.
And don't tell me an embryo is a human being. If it was, the thousands of frozen embryos in fertility labs in this country would have the right to own guns.
Only if they've been there for over 18 years.
Oh... And they've passed their background investigation and have a clear criminal record.
Darren, thos restrictions don't apply to most guns
Penny, an embryo is alive and will grow into a child if you don't kill it. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I just don't think she should choose to kill her child.
All the state needs to do is offer a "Choose Child Murder" plate and everyone will be satisfied.
Didn't you exit this earth after a chopper accident in a Twilight Zone movie? If not, you should have.
Sure, and you'd support that plate wholeheartedly, wouldn't you?
Science flies you to the moon...
Religion flies you into buildings.
Really? I'm so far behind! I don't even have my pilot's license yet! I guess if I don't hurry up I'll be going to hell?
Ignorance and a lack of respect for the beliefs of others is what flies airplanes into building, genius! And based on that, you must be a 747 pilot with a beard, turbin, and bad onion breath.
Darren, read your own post and follow its logic. You'll find you aren't really supporting your own argument.
When does life begin? Do scientists really know? Keep in mind scientist will say "x" is bad for you and then years later a new study will be published that contradicts these findings stating the "x" is now good for you. How many time have we seen this? What if scientist are wrong about when life begins? More importantly, if you believe in God, how can one assume that a scientist's concept of life equals God's? Does one really want to potentially risk the external fate of their soul because it's more convenient to end a pregnancy?
Well thank Zeus and Greyhound for that. That's all we need is to see that crap on the road.
This is a slippery slope with things like this.
People are so stupid now, they'll hit the back of your car because they don't like your plate. It's best that the state stays out of these personal issues. People mentally can't really handle this much personal freedom of expression.....
Well said. These stuid plates started as a way for states to make money but have taken an even worse turn.
Your kung fu is quite..extra-ordinary...but now it's time for you to die!
I am amazed how people neither love God nor Fear God
How can you fear something that isnt real?
Easy, same as i don't believe in you cos i can't see you.
If you believe in a god of love (as all religions claim to in the sales literature), then why would you fear him? Personally I just don't believe in him. I do fear religious people though.
Say it ain't so,
Easy, same as i don't believe in you cos i can't see you."
@my belief could prove his existence to you - including a person-to-person meeting within hours if need be. Your god? No.
God has forsaken this nation. We're screwed.
God is nothing more than an adult version of Santa Claus. It is probably the biggest BS story ever told in the history of mankind and it is all to do with control, brainwashing and maniuplation
Those Tea Baggers never give up and it shows how out of touch and ignorant they are. While the Rest of the USA is trying to move FOREWARD these fools want the US to move backwards in all the wrong ways.
FOREWARD. LOL. Classic libtard education. Call me when you're literate. BTW, if you haven't figured it out already, it's spelled "FORWARD".
Funny thing is, in American English, periods go inside quotation marks. So, how smart are you, really?
It's always entertaining to hear rightwingers show their hypocrisy with words like "libtard" which uses Palin's kid's condition as a slur.
Well done. HYPOCRISY lives on.
Holy cow heino, you nailed him!! Must be all that excellent 'murican edukation!!
Hein-y-o, it's always funny when you ultra righties make this lame attempt to try and skirt the issue of why you avoid the issue. I mean, we intelligent progressives have your limited view of reality totally figured out, but you still think you're somehow clever. HA
Scott, the period goes inside the quotation marks if the quotation includes a sentence. If a single word in the sentence is enclosed in quotation marks and is the last word in the sentence the period ends the sentence after the quotation marks.
supports the culture of death...
It's easy for a coward to use sarcasm and mock those they disagree with. A brave person actually comes out and says what they believe. I believe both "Choose Life" and "Pro Choice" plates should be allowed. What do you believe?
Actually, you're "incorrectly ultra rightie"... but who cares. You're still gonna think you're limited concept of reality is somehow in vogue
Seth, I believe vanity plates are a waste of money.
Simple solution. Just create a "I Love Killing Innocent Babies" plate.
Add "in other countries" and then you'd be closer to the truth.
What a ridiculous and totally wacked view of this issue
Yeah! And I want my kill the whales plate!
Please come out and say what you believe, not just mocking. Do you want "Choose Life" plates to be allowed, but "Pro-Choice" plates to be not allowed? If not, what is your opinion?
What about my right to enjoy good tasty whale meat? Or at least show my support for people who enjoy tasty whale meat on my license plate?
When you finally mature, you'll cringe when you look back on your days of writing moronic comments on blogs
So if there was a plate with the phrase "Choose Death" then everything would be OK?
As if that's the opposing view. Grow up.
What a moronic comment
Chris has a point. The phrase "choose death" would be allowed, but not "choose life."
Of course, the politicization of license plates was inevitable....states are looking for more funds by giving drivers/taxpayers what they want in terms of a custom plate....better off just going back to 'basic' plates for everyone ....otherwise who knows how far special interest groups will take this...
Too many specialty plates. Too true.
"Republican state Rep. Mitch Gillespie, who sponsored the bill for the "Choose Life" plates, said he would push for an appeal of the judge's decision, CNN affiliate WRAL reported."
So IOW this repub doesn't mind wasting money fighting this LEGAL win for this issue, but has a problem funding Planned Parenthood, help for the needy, etc etc etc. Good to see at least the repubs are consistent..... ALWAYS wrong.
Another activist judge who overstepped his responsibilities and used his position to advance his own narrow view. So, do we need an "anti-" plate to counter ever plate that endorses an activity, such as hunting, fishing, education, and so on? Apparently so. So dumb.
No we don't need an "anti" plate for everything. Just the things that MATTER.
So, do you want to deny me my option to buy a "pro-choice" license plate, if that is my belief?
A "narrow view" is exactly what that judge overturned. And yes, let's compare the issue of abortion with activities like hunting and fishing. Great.
I am betting he's only an activist judge because you don't like what he ruled.
Your comment is typical of someone who wants to quash the rights of others that run opposite your beliefs.
The state government of North Carolina is anti-choice in offering only a "choose life" plate. I wouldn't choose the (unavailable) opposite plate because the anti-choice wingnuts would likely vandalize my vehicle. Funny how that works.
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