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.
The Talibangelical side should really have on the plates "Your uterus belongs to baby Jesus".
Not your uterus, just the baby's life that Jesus created in you.
Talibangelical: good word!
TR...then why isn't JESUS fighting this? Ever notice how quiet he's been for the last oh...2000 years?
"Your uterus belongs to baby Jesus".
Lol, I love it. The folks in my town already have stickers on their cars saying the town belongs to Jesus. I can only imagine they'd love to get this onto plates.
This thread is hilarious. Jesus didn't create a baby. A man and a woman created a baby. Last time I checked, I wasn't banging Jesus. @ caw...LMAO! Agreed! You people want your religion? Okay. But it has no place in government. You violate our rights by attempting to insert it. Now, unless you want the rest of us to go on an anti-gun crusade, just be quiet. Go feed a poor person if you're so concerned with human life and get off the internet telling people how to live their lives.
Suck it (again) Republican Nazis! You may now resume your goose-stepping.
So giving someone the choice to buy a pro life license plate makes one a Nazi (granted I think they should have offered pro choice one as well), but taking that choice away from is a victory.
So ironic that "Pro choice" groups have taken away a person's right to choose their license plate design.
How about we just use license plates to identify the car and nothing more.
The State makes money on the "labeled" plates.
Now that's just crazy talk.
The bible says to feel happy when killing children, why are the christian wrong upset about abortion?
How should you feel when you dash "little ones" against the stones
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Psalm 137:8-9)
Obviously you have not read the bible because you would have known God was not speaking in that verse. Matthew 18:6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (I'll give you a hint: that verse was spoken by Jesus)
Katie, quoting the babble book is not the way to give an intelligent answer to a real question. You can't answer with mythological statments. They aren't facts.
The Babylon babies, the babies of their enemies. However, in Numbers 15.35-36 we are to stone to death anyone that works on the Sabbath.
The question is if you think its a "babble book", do you also celebrate Christmas and Easter? If you do, then you are subscribing to Christianity.
katie. You must have heard that the early christians borrowed christmas from a pagan holiday. Even if Jesus was a real person he wasn't born at christmas (even the Catholic Pope agrees with that).
I am not saying that Jesus was born on December 25th, but that is when Christmas is observed. When Christmas is observed is not the point. The point is if you particpate in it you subscribe to what the day means. I don't celebrate Muslim or Jewish holidays because I'm not Jewish or Muslim. Why would you particpate in a holiday that you don't believe in?
Hitler was pro-life. That's how you get big, expendable, standing armies for all your wars of conquest.
That was how Mao started out. He insisted that people were China's greatest resource and asked people to go forth and procreate, before the disaster he'd brought on became clear. China smartened up and realized how masses of people with no jobs drags down an economy and shortens life expectancy of a country's citizens. Where India and China were once equals, China is miles ahead now, based largely on its willingless to limit family size to that which the country can afford.
Gandhi was also pro life, nice try to paint all those who are pro life as evil.
If you look closer at his beliefs,Hitler was against abortion for Aryans, but encouraged abortions for Jews, Poles, and others he considered "inferior races".
I don't understand. Just give the other side their own plate... "Choose Death" !!!!?
Yet...another "Pro-Forced Gestationer" ™ that missed the whole point of the article completely.
The corollary to Godwin's law says that in any online argument, the first person to invoke either Nazis or Hitler when the topic is not specifically related to either one automatically loses the argument.
read the article, matthew
Ho about letting the Choice side define the parameters. "Respect Choice" vs "Disresepect Choice". There...those are your only two options. Happy?
So sayeth the Nazi. It's hard to talk about the modern Republican platform without referring to the Nazi party. You guys are the party of hate, racism, bigotry and greed. Even in your pro-life moments, perhaps the only area that reek of self-interest and corruption, you do so violently and hypocritically–in the next moment espousing hate toward the babies of immigrants and preaching pro-death penalty. Life isn't sacred to you, you simply like to control the actions of everyone else around you.
Drat. I saw the subject and was hoping it was going to be a license plate themed after the poster for Trainspotting. But no, it's just another flare-up of the endlessly tedious abortion fight.
The human race was planted here many years ago by alien's fromt he 12th planet. That is my belief. I want a license plate that states that, with a flying UFO machine in the background delivering a giant block on top of one of the great pyramids. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it. It's a futive effort trying to debate the religion stories. No body knows. I don't believe in what the bible says because it is too much of a puzzle, and I think 10 people can interpret it 10 differnt ways. To stay on the subject of license plates, I would like neither plate to be available.
You have the RIGHT to believe whatever you want , if it makes you happy good for you. You are not in a communist country .
No matter what anyone thinks, abortion is not every a simple answer. No woman goes in to an abortion happy.
No matter what anyone thinks, it is not about sex.
Emotion clouds this issue on both sides. Very few people can clearly discuss the very real situations involved. We have to look at the number of unwanted, abandoned children already in our system and on our streets. We have to look at families that can not afford another mouth to feed, not to mention the medical costs. We have to look at over population and scarcity of resources. We have to look at our crime rates and drug problems.
Abortion is not a stand alone issue. It is affected and affects every other aspect of our society. It is a symptom of the very serious problems in our civilization. We will never see it go away or become rare until we fix what is wrong.
1) Education. Not just sex ed, we need to stop teaching rote memorization to pass tests, knowing the facts they memorize this year will be lost when they start memorizing for next year's tests, and return to a time when we taught our children HOW to think, how to solve problems, not because they memorized the answer, but because they thought through the problem, weighed the consequences and made right choices. If we can't teach them to do that with math, how in the world can we expect them to do it when it comes to sex or drugs?
2) Birth Control. It needs to be readily available for both men and women, affordable, and proper usage needs to be taught beginning at 13 years old. No woman who does not want to get pregnant should be denied the ability to get birth control.
3) Adoption. I don't know how many of you have looked into adoption in this country. The laws are convoluted and difficult, the cost is prohibitive and everyone wants babies, leaving older children languishing in foster care (another system that needs an overhaul) or worse. Adoption needs to be made easier and less costly, and first time adopting parents should be required to adopt a child that is at least 5 years old.
4) Sterilization. If a woman is willing to sign a release form, after being thoroughly informed, no doctor should be allowed to deny her permanent birth control. I don't care how old she is.
5) Healthcare. Obamacare is a start, but it isn't enough. It's time to start regulating the cost side of the equation, not just the insurance side. There needs to be a thorough investigation of the medical industry, hospitals and all, and caps need to be put on the costs of pills and equipment use and doctor fees. We need to stop letting every Tom, Dick & Harry sue doctors/hospitals over stupid issues, and leave the lawsuits for the real malpractice.
That would be a start. It would still take years and years to bring effects. But eventually, you would see a decline in abortion rates. It would become what it is meant to be, a rare solution to a rare problem.
As always... love your posts, -myweightinwords.
Well said although I'm not sure permanent birth control should be allowed at 'any age'.
I knew at 25 I didn't want kids. Why should I spend my life taking a pill to ensure that doesn't happen, when one simple surgery would fix it forever and more effectively?
I undertsand what you are saying and if you want to attach the right to permanent birth control onto all the other responsibilities you get when you are termed an adult, I have no problem with that, but 'any age'... I hardly think an 11 year old could make that choice.
I said "woman at any age" which implies she has at least turned 18 in most definitions, 21 in mine.
Sorry I wasn't more clear on that issue.
My apologies, you did say 'woman', I should have taken that to mean age of adulthood. My mistake.
I agee with most of what you say, but I think the adoption issue is a lot more complex. The fact is that most of the families out their looking to adopt are college educated professionals and they want children who will succeed and prosper as they themselves did. The reality is that we no longer have a bunch of infants up for adoption that college girls had at 20 (like we had in the 1960s). Instead we're looking at largely kids with serious disabilities, cognitive problems and histories of abuse. People would love to get these kids adopted, but it's not easy to find someone who wants to take that on. I know people who work in the system and most of them say they would be very hesitant to foster or adopt. That's the unfortunate reality most people won't talk about.
That's part of my point I think. Our foster and adoption systems are filled with kids who are broken emotionally/mentally/physically and the system does nothing to help them or assist potentially adoptive parents who would take them.
And no, not all parents who are looking to adopt are college-educated couples. Or, they wouldn't be if the costs weren't so ridiculous.
It would be great to assist the parents, and I agree to that. I know some states offer free instate tuition for college, for instance, to anyone who adopts out of the system. But the fact is a lot of those stuck in the system aren't going to be looking at college. They have severe emotional problems, and are sometimes even a danger to siblings. I know I'm painting a really dark picture here, but it's definitely not a rosey situation we're talking about. In general having children, eeven your own, actually decreases happiness for about 18 years (after the first 6 months). Taking on a child who has severe emotional and cognitive disabilities is a huge drain on a family, and most aren't going to do this. If you look at other countries that offer much higher adoptioon benefits you'll find the same kids stuck in the system.
I don't disagree, but those kids deserve a better life than they have right now, and until we provide it, we shouldn't be looking to throw more kids into the same boat.
Or, at least that's how I feel about it. I've been told I might be just a smidge opinionated about it. *grin*
Fine, so offer a "Choose Death" alternative plate and the issue is solved! ;>)
You're about the 100th idiot who's posted that here. That's like saying if the pro-choicers got their plate first (which they wouldn't, since the state votes against it) and had "Respect Choice" the only pro-lifer option would be a plate that read "Disrespect Choice.". You think your little quips are smart but you folks just come off sounding like you have your heads up you as$es.
Gosh, Razor.....that is so clever....
How about no plates for either side?
@numbnut, I'm all for that one.
All I want is to be left alone,to live my Faith,and raise my family. I do not want the government telling me.what to do or buy. Government stay out of my life. All of you dems and reps stay out my life is offlimits to you all .If you want to make up rules do it for yourselves and your family. Just leave me alone ,please.
Sure we will, if you keep your hands off our womens ovaries!
Until then, prepare to lose.
CRAWL IN A HOLE and practice your "faith" Get it OUT of our face and government. "Faith" IS lack of reason, and is lowering our student's test scores.
Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
It seems we want the same thing. I too want to be left alone. Left alone to marry who I choose without ANYONE interfering.
If you would like to be left alone, did you vote for bigger government? if you answered yes, then you really shouldn't be complaining about religion. I would really like the Government to get out of our lives and let us make our own decisions. Bigger Gov't = Less Freedom.
@William, Nice to have you on board with us liberals fighting against a state endorsing any one religion. The separation of church and state is one of the foundational freedoms of America and something that I think the left and right can come together to defend against the craziness of fundamentalist christians and their Republican Party.
i want to be left alone from government telling me who i can marry or what i can injest
YES YES YES These Talibangelicals are just as much of an enemy to our country as the Taliban. It is SO GOOD to see the power of the fanatical right wing xstian "wrong" losing power in our SECULAR country. I wrote the White House yesterday and begged the President to quit attending the National Prayer Breakfast. That is not his "free time" but an official event. I voted for him (twice) but that should be illegal. We have enough freedom OF religion, we need freedom FROM religion. Forcing a child into a RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE. Denying women a right to choose is illegal. Even Pat Robertson the TV evangelical has come out and said that the earth is more than 10,000 years old, that the BIBLE IS WRONG. His exact quote was, "If you go against science, you're going to lose your children." LET'S KEEP WINNING THE FIGHT AGAINST THE AMERICAN TALIBAN.
Organized Religion – last bastion of the ignorant
..."Talibangelicals" LOL :D
Some people just don't realize things even though they are in plain sight. Just the fact that you are breathing is miracle from God.
@ captain moronic. Your goD created nothing, and is nothing but a figment of your imafination, built up by preachers who seek fame and reconition. They are liars and cheats, just as you lie to yourself. You are too scared a little man to live your life. You fear death. Coward.
My only issue with this is the unwillingness to allow both sides to have an option. It is the confidence that only one perspective can be right that is creating the problems. Sure, I'm not religious and I believe in choice. If I lived in NC, I would choose a different license plate. End of problem. No one can be right all the time. Until Americans realize and accept this, we will continue to be polarized over fundamental issues.
My religion is science, math, physics which are truly Universal.
Captain Moroni: More unsupportable blather from the pious set
The Taliban atheists on rampage again (Nietodarwin). Simply shouting your irrational point of view from the rooftops does nothing to convince anyone that Atheism is a more plausible worldview. On the other hand, a theistic worldview offers Good arguments from cosmology, Teleology, Ontology, moralistic, and the historical record. Judging by your posts, I would say your arguments are only emotional allowing very little credibility for your viewpoint. I assume you're taking Dawkins advice and are working to belittle those who hold a viewpoint of theism. It is my experience that those who feel that they are losing an argument Are the ones who resort to ad hominem attacks. Sad.
My state offers a "Save The Sound" license plate aimed at environmental protection and conservation with regard to Long Island Sound. I think they should offer a "Screw The Sound" alternative with a picture of a beach loaded with oil drums and medical waste.
@damndirtydba Are you just pretending to completely miss the point? The issue is not the state taking a stand on something, it is the state taking a RELIGIOUS stand – elevating one flavor of one religion (fundamentalist christianity) above all the others. Do you not understand how much the foundational principle of separation of church and state has contributed to your quality of life – how important it is?
Some of you have been watching so much Fox News that it has completely neutered your ability to even grasp the issues at hand, let alone pick a side using fact-based reason.
Write to your lawmakers.
What a splendid idea.
I say to you Pro-Lifers if you want the unwanted babies then go for it. Pay for them and raise them yourselves. The world is already full unwanted children and they don't have good lives. There is nothing quite like the suffering an unwanted child experiences.
The same people who say all must live then insist they should starve on the streets or die at war for inane causes.
so your solution is to kill them?
It could be a question on the tax forms. Oppose birth control? Ad 5% to your tax rate. Oppose abortion? Add another 5%.
@ dudeloose-screw. No, dipschitt, they will die from abuse, neglect, and starvation. Why haven't you adopted one? Feed it clothed it. Oh, too busy huh? So, what other excuse can you come up with? You talk big, but you don't DO uch, loudmouthed pr!ck
It's funny that the same exact people that say "if you dont want an abortion, dont get one", are the ones saying that no one should be allowed to get these license plates.
the hypocrisy of the anti-theist..
Did you even read the article or the comments? The issue is that the state rejected the pro-choice plate.
I think that most people are just saying there should be equal opportunity. If 1 side has a plate, so should the other.
If person A has an abortion, it doesn't affect you theists or anybody but that person.
If person B drives around town spouting bigotry and offensive personal viewpoints on a license plate, it affects all.
Another logical battle lost by the religious crusaders.
Read the article, what they asked was an equal right to respond, that was denied when the pro-choice alternatives were voted down, hence the Judge's decision. Are you confused again.
No one here said that.
@CJ "If person A has an abortion, it doesn't affect you theists or anybody but that person."
@Chad "ah, well it also affects the baby, who is now dead. It also affects society as a whole as we bear the responsibility of having allowed the murder of an innocent child."
@CJ "If person B drives around town spouting bigotry and offensive personal viewpoints on a license plate, it affects all.
@Chad "so you are now trying to outlaw freedom of speech? wow..
What is "save the whales" offends me, do I get to block issuance of those plates??
utter, utter nonsense
@Guy "Read the article, what they asked was an equal right to respond, that was denied when the pro-choice alternatives were voted down, hence the Judge's decision."
@Chad "ah, yes, I forgot we are in the era of legislating from the bench, where judicial activists get to subvert the will of the people..
sorry about that.. my mistake
Indeed you are utter, utter, nonsense.
But Chad, no one is saying you shouldn't be allowed to get any bumper sticker you want and put that on the car. You just shouldn't give a few select opinions a special government benefit.
chad: "I forgot we are in the era of legislating from the bench, where judicial activists get to subvert the will of the people.."
People are always crying that tune for one reason or another. The judiciary's responsibility is not to the will of the people in this country – it's to uphold the law. There's another branch of government that is supposed to tend to that task.
I have no problem with these plates as long as pro choice plates were allowed as well (but they were not). I'm assuming you're not a hypocrite and would be okay with pro choice plates as well?
Using Chad's logic, the south would still have segragated schools and black people would not be allowed to vote, or maybe that is god's will in the Chad's mind.
No, chad....it was the legislators in this pro-life-cousin-lovin' state that denied the pro-choice license plate.
pull your head out of your a$$
@mama k "The judiciary's responsibility is not to the will of the people in this country – it's to uphold the law. There's another branch of government that is supposed to tend to that task."
now, you can claim that making laws is what you WANT the judiciaries responsibility to be, but that is NOT what the const.itution says. They are to interpret only.
The judiciary's responsibility, according to Hamilton, was to enforce the people's will as expressed in the Consti.tution and thus to prevent the abuse of power
Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make law (that is, in a plenary fashion, which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.
Quit ducking the issue. It took the courts to overturn the state's Jim Crow laws and you know it. If government makes laws that are unconsti*tutional and they are challenged it is the courts job to interpret them according to the consti*tution. That is what happened in NC, the legislature denied equal rights, period.
If you do get around to addressing the questions put to you, please answer this. If the state make laws that agree with your point of view those laws are acceptable, but if a law goes against your views and/or religious faith you can chose to ignore it?
what "civil rights" are being violated here?? (other than the murdered baby, who's right to life is obviously being violated)
@Guy " If the state make laws that agree with your point of view those laws are acceptable, but if a law goes against your views and/or religious faith you can chose to ignore it?"
@Chad " no one gets to ignore the law.
unless of course you have judicial activists, like this case in NC, where the judge unilaterally overrides the law and decides what he wants it to be.
Wrong. He interpreted the law based on equality and the consti*tution, that is his duty, if the proposed amendments had not been defeated, the legislation represented both sides, the law would not have been struck down. How do you think the southern states segregation and Jim Crow laws got struck down?
what consti.tutional right was violated here?
Read the article, chad, it is pretty clear to anyone that is not blinded by a preconceived ideology.
@Guy "Read the article, chad, it is pretty clear to anyone that is not blinded by a preconceived ideology."
=>by which you mean "we dont think judges have to limit themselves to interpreting the law/consti.tution according to the intent of the original author, they should do whatever they feel is "right""
lol, as I said, judicial activism, plain and simple.
Gosh Chad – how idiotic. I said uphold the law. For instance in the case where SCOTUS ruled against mandated bible reading in public schools, they interpreted, listened, and ultimately upheld in their view, a part of the Constitution. What else did you think I meant? Well, by saying "uphold", it might sound like I was saying enforce the law, but we all know that's also not their job. "Uphold" – like is this law that Congress passed constitutional or not. You make way too many leaps, Chad. My word.
One definition of Hell would be being forced to attempt conversations with the souls of miscarried fetuses for eternity.
What ?!?! 8O
Or another: there is no hell. The concept was conceived by adult-children with subpar intellects in the stone age.
Another version of Hell would be trying to have an intelligent conversation with a christian for all eternity.
Actually, I think a more fitting version of Hell would be to be tormented by the souls of the hundreds of millions of people who have had their lives destroyed and taken from them in the name of Christianity over the millennia.
"So, Mr. Fetus, umm....nice weather we're having today."
"Yeah...well, if you like really, really hot temperatures."
"I used to live in North Dakota, so....it's pretty nice for me"
"I wouldn't know. My entire life has been spent having these awkward conversations with residents of hell."
"Yeah, um, sorry about that and everything..."
if you dont want an abortion-DONT have one; but dont tell me i cant have one or push your believes on me!
Killing is illegal – try being responsible.
If you don't want to steal a car, don't do it, but don't force your belief on me and tell me I can't. Use logic and common sense, please
Abortion is legal.
Please learn the difference between legal and illegal.
captain moroni: abortion is not illegal. your argument is silly
@ BorgX & @ Damocles, abortion has not always been legal and there were those that opposed it becoming legal when it did and there are those who oppose it being legal now. It's not like abortion as been a right of passage since the existence of human beings and now we are trying to take it away. It hasn't been until recent decades that people have tried to ease their conscious about abortion by proclaiming it isn't human, but only a blob of tissue, so that they don't feel guilty for murder.
My children please the 21st is all most here...prepare to stand in line while I sort you all out.
The government has no business picking one side or the other. Whatever happened with the o'l separation between church and state.
The government didn't choose a side. The "separation" refers to the government not making any laws that favor any one particular religion or religious viewpoint over another.
Really, the govenment isn't to pick sides, huh? So, in a court case where there is no jury and the judge makes a ruling (the judge being apart of the judicial branch of the government) she shouldn't make a choice, because she would be choosing a side.
Also, if your logic says the government should remain neutral in all things, then why do we have any laws at all? I mean a law set by the government is restricting us is it not? Who says the speed limit on that road should be 35, the government shouldn't have an opinion...I should be able to drive as fast as I want, right? Logic please
It's simple...offer a pro-choice plate. While you're at it, the ACLU also needs to sue all states that have a "protect the environment" plate without offering the alternative of "pollute as much as possible".
Your simple solution was voted against by North Carolina lawmakers who voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives when the anti-abortion plates were being legislated. It was in the article.
Your logic defies logic.
I suggest you learn to read.
I would suggest that you start with something simple like a good Dr Suesse book but I fear most Christians would mistake that for things that actually happened.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.