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.
pro life forever
Can anyone explain the "real harm" these life plates did? Do we have such an intolerant class of people? I say we ban license plates period. It enables the gubiment to track me and force me to pay taxes. God forbid I have to pay taxes when I can't claim the many people on welfare as dependents. Ban the color blue and red as well. They incite wars among black gangs.
None, the plates in and of themselves are not the issue. The State was proposing One view over the other, and that's not consti-tutional. Suppose the State offered only Pro-Choice Plates
You understand the the government is not allowed to take sides on religious issues right?
abortion is murder. I said it, God said it, and noone will change that.
You said it, that's true. But, God didn't say it, or at least we don't know that he did.
How is what you think your imaginary friend said relevant?
You said it, but it's not true, and your deity of choice was made up just like all the others in our history.
That is your belief and you are welcome to it. Claiming you speak for god or know god's mind is, at best, extreme arrogance, at worst insanity.
I'm calling troll or poe or both on @Dan
You may have said it, but I doubt "God" said it....and just because you believe doesn't make it true for others...just you.
Your Bible does not say that abortion is murder. On the other hand, your Bible does say that ra pe is a-ok.
So is capital punishement. So is allowing people to die because they cannot afford medical care. So is allowing people to die because they do not have adequate shelter. So is allowing people to die from malnutrition. So is allowing children to die from abuse because of tax cuts to Children's Services organizations.
Mythology is sort of a non-starter Dan. I mean claims that an invisible, silent and completely evidenceless god "said" something really don't add to the debate do they?
Maybe you could get your god to stop doing a perfect imitation of a mythical god and appear as a giant head over the 50 largest cities of the world today and say something. That would change everything. But we all know your mythical god, like all mythical gods, can't do that.
Really Dan? The very same god that commands on more than one occassion for his people to dash the heads of suckling babies against rocks, kills all the first born in egypt etc? He must love babies and kids to command that.
Danny boy: You have no authority to speak for god.
You speak for goD now, danny boy?Prsumptuious pr!ck
Not all republicans are pro life, only the religious nutcases. I am a repub for choice.
The solution is simple: Simply offer a pro choice alternative. Put something like choose choice, or choose death. Instead of the faces of innocent, smiling children, put the faces of relieved looking women, or women with traumatic looks on their faces from the psychological horror some claim women experience after an abortion. Or maybe the faces of children with frowns, possibly with a drawing of a baby arm on one side of the plate, with a little leg on the other side of the license plate with drops of blood coming down :)
Seriously though, don't they offer license plates for all sorts of social issues? They have gay, and straight license plates, along with the rainbows, fish and little crosses. I see plates all over where folks requested a personalized message unique to them. What's the big deal with this one?
Allow for an alternative plate.
Read the 2nd to last paragraph.
"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."
Lawmakers DELIBERATELY chose to have only one alternative.
Oh okay, I see. Yeah, "trust women". Who's suppose to do that, the BABIES?
Oh wait, they CAN'T be babies since they are in an extremely immature state and don't APPEAR all cute and cuddly yet. Screw biological scientists with their DNA and scientific definitions for life.
A beating heart is a sign of life?
Did you know you can but a cows heart and connect it to a 12 volt battery and it will beat??
Google doing "The Ovid"
It seems some procreate with them!!
regardless of tomtom i will continue to fight for life, even with civil isobedience if i have to.
Why don't you fight for better s3x education, access to birth control, and support for women who want to carry a fetus to term instead, Danny? Why not pay the expenses of a pregnant teen and adopt the baby?
Nah, that would be too sensible. And it would cost you more time and money, wouldn't it? Can't have that.
I just laugh when boneheaded guys like Dan bloviate about their commitment to life and their hatred of abortion.
You can bet that if they ever found themselves pregnant, they'd be outta that in no time flat.
What's your definition of life? When does it begin?
"Every sperm is sacred....."
I'm calling troll or poe or both on you.
dan: i suggest you try self-immolation
Good, Dan. Commit civil disobedience near me, please.
And then Mitebite has to lie about what others post. Before you attempt to tell me what I see abortion as being, Mitey, you may want to read my posts again.
I don't see abortion as any cure-all. However, many researchers view the drop in the crime rate as being a side-effect of it. I don't know that such a view is valid; I simply view this as a rights issue. Women do not become second-class citizens with fewer rights than others enjoy just because they are pregnant. If you think they do, go see the SCOTUS and present your case.
Do you think you should be forced to have surgery you don't want? The principle is the same.
The "right", making NC look like another hate state.
pro life isnt hate. you liberals make me sick.
You're right... "Pro-Forced Gestation" ™ isn't necessarily about hate.
danny boy: There are conservatives who are pro life. Now, boy, go home and get your shinebox
Now I wont know which cars to vandalize!
At least I can keep on keying those SUV's and pickups with the Jesus fish on the back!!
Freedom of speech!!
Get yourself a dinosaur Jesus fish.
I'm pro life but this sort of slogan belongs on stickers individuals buy and put on their cars. Otherwise, fair-minded people will have to push for a "Protect Women's Right to Choose" messages sponsored by the State of North Carolina to balance out the "Choose Life" message. Unless you're OK with your government selecting slogans for you. As one poster said, How about "Choose Atheism." Or "Execute All Child Abusers."
John Patrick Grace
Huntington, West Virginia
And that's why the argument against this plate should not be to allow all other dissenting opinions (just a Pandora's box there) but to restrict all plates to the original single state plate.
What's really pathetic is that folks like Mitebite think that a 14-year-old should be punished by being forced to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth because she made a mistake–and then Mite reveals just how really ignorant he/she is by equating getting pregnant with killing a person while driving a stolen car.
Tom, Tom, TPS
But nutters like Mitebite are exactly what the pro-choice folks need to show how dangerous the religious fanatics can be to a free society. When reason and logic fail the Mitebites of the worls strut their stuff.
A BABY is NOT a 'mistake'. 14 year olds get pregnant, that's nothing new, and if they murder their baby they may indeed live long enough (to adulthood) and regret that murder.
Good riddance, that was one ugly plate. I'm all for free speech, but seriously, a YELLOW ocean?
At least it wasn't in Comic Sans.
The one in Alabama is in Comic Sans.
Hey, it's just truth in advertising about the effects of over population!
Let's use some common sense here. Would you like a license plate that said "Choose Atheism"? This type of message belongs on bumper stickers.
Actually, yes. I'd like to see that on ALL license plates.
im gonna get one of these plates as a protest to the aclu
Not in North Carolina!
Yeah, Danny Boy, that'll teach them.
Don't you have to be smart enough to get a driver's license before you get the plates? You're gonna have some difficulty there...
More stupidity from the conservative morons.....these people are a bad joke...
these people respect life.
These people respect life *before it is born, after that it is on it's own.
There I fixed it for you.
Conservatives respect life up until the moment it is born. Of course, since they aren't for pre-natal care for the poor, I guess not even really that long.
Shhhh.... you're not supposed to mention those little things that get in the way of their myopic views.
Respecting life would also mean you don't support the death penalty then, right? I think it's hilarious how "pro-lifers" think it's murder and terrible for a woman to choose to abort a fetus, a clump of cells, and yet they have no problem with the government murdering a living, breathing being. If a woman shouldn't be able to decide whether she should carry her fetus to term and birth a baby, why should a judge or jury decide that another actual being should be sentenced to die? Pro-lifer's are so hypocritical.
I think these plates are disgusting! We don't need opinions pasted on the back of our cars concerning a political view! This is the type of crap we get from the Republicans and their religious BS! ACLU is correct in filing a lawsuit! I hope they file it in the other 29 states!
Bob, stop for a second and take in to account all the liberals who post political or social agendas on their cars. Don't try to make a point by not stating facts correctly, it makes you look worse than those you are trying to slander.
I think the opinions pasted on the back of our cars are also called campaign bumper stickers.
A beating heart is not a "sign of life" - it is simply one organ out of many possible organs functioning in a fetus as it develops toward being viable outside of a womb. As many thousands of ultrasounds have shown, fetuses with severe and terminal and uncorrectable birth defects may have a heartbeat. Usually, that heartbeat eventually stops and the mother miscarries. If the defects are discovered during ultrasound and the mother schedules an abortion, whose business is it, beyond the woman and her doctor, whether or not the heart - of the baby with all organs outside the body and no arms and legs and an undeveloped brain - is beating? Ridiculous. Heartbeat does not equate with "abortion is infanticide." Viability outside the womb, ability to breathe, even if aided, is a much more accurate guidepost to follow when "choosing life." And that happens way along in the pregnancy, not when women are choosing abortions for non-medical reasons. Heartbeat is a non-issue. Ability to breathe? Different story. Stay out of my exam room, stay out of my doctor visits and decision-making, stay out of my uterus.
Pretty well said.
If a beating heart was all it took to require us to give something full rights, all anti-choice folks would be vegetarians. Unless you're a vegetarian, don't even talkto me about "life".
You say whatever helps you sleep at night sweetheart, but killing babies is killing babies and there's no way around it.
Well put Stephanie. Based on your logic, it should be ok to kill stupid people just because I think they are a lifeless SOB that should not breathe. Thank you!
Stay out of my exam room, stay out of my doctor visits and decision-making, stay out of my uterus.
Stay out of my exam room, stay out of my doctor visits and decision-making, stay out of my uterus.
Exactly. And don't forget that the heart doesn't start beating until day 22. If 'abortion stops a beating heart', is one performed before day 22 not considered one? We all have different opinions on when life begins. But that is all they are. Opinions.
Why not just push for a pro-choice option instead of trying to sqaush the pro-life plate? Wouldn't that accomplish the equality that is being sought out?
Read the article
"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."
Try reading... a Pro Choice option was voted down by NC lawmakers.
The article states that the representatives quashed amendments that allowed for the pro-choice option already, meaning that the politicians had decided that equal time/ opportunity was not necessary.
To my understanding, this would require legislation (adding the amendments) or crafting a new law in order to fix the situation. Nullifying the current law would be the only sound thing to do that the courts have any authority to do.
A complicated situation roiling in politics and deep personal feelings, to be sure.
Tom tom. If your 14 year old daughter steals your car and kills someone in a wreck, do you wipe the slate because it would be an inconvenience to go to jail. Don't think so. Some decisions have profound lasting effects evennfor those not considered adults. To kill someone to prevent any inconvenience or stress is heinous. You are sad and pathetic in your thoughts. To think that murder is justified in these scenarios. Even if the child isn't wanted it has no chance if it is murdered. Our society values giving everyone a chance unless they are an inconvenient pregnancy. It is then ok to murder them.
Nope, you lose. Consent to have s#x does not equal consent to carry a pregnancy to term. Hasn't since R v W. Too bad if you don't like it.
Mite, abortion was never considered "murder" even when it was illegal. You really aren't capable of arguing this issue when you compare killing someone who's born with terminating a pregnancy. They are not equivalent and never were.
Again, if you think that carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth to a baby you didn't want and can't support is just an "inconvenience," then you're welcome to enjoy said inconvenience yourself. You don't get to force anyone else to do so. Women have a right to choose what is best for them. You don't know what is best for anyone else. Butt out.
Tom tom down to nyah-nyah now is it. Remember roe vs wade an be overturned or state law can be changed. Will you stamp your feet if that happens. I do not favor abortion and view it as murder. You see murder as a cure for social ills. I pity your family if you have one.
If a pregnant woman is murdered, the perpetual.is usually charged with two counts.of.murder.
There you people go again pushing your religious agenda on those that do not believe as you do. Abortion is not considered murder by the law of the land, get it, so quit calling it murder.
My word, but you're dumb. Fetal homicide laws ALL exclude abortion. No one ELSE gets to terminate a pregnancy FOR a woman without her consent, dingbat.
Why feel sorry for my family? They're all pro-choice and not one of us has ever had nor sought an abortion, you bozo.
Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. It simply means that the person who is pregnant is the only one who should decide what is the best choice.
R v W isn't going to be overturned. You don't get to decide what someone else does with her body or the contents thereof. Unless you want the state forcing YOU to give blood, donate a kidney, or have surgery you don't want, the principle stands. Women's rights don't end just because they get pregnant.
No matter how many times you say otherwise, abortion is not murder. Additionally there has been, a majority of republican appointed justices on the SCOTUS for years and Roe v. Wade still stands. Do you really think it will ever be over turned?
The "perpetual"? Did you mean "perpetrator"?
Yeah, you're quite the legal beagle.
FALSE, murdering a pregnant woman does not get you two separate counts of murder. where did you get your law degree? mail-in?
I will tell you what murder is, you nutter. The case in Ireland where a woman was prevented from getting a theraputic abortion because the fetus was not viable and both ended up dead. The reason given for not providing the proper treatment, they were afraid of the backlash from the church. That, honey, is murder.
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