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'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina
December 11th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

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.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • North Carolina

soundoff (3,213 Responses)
  1. Atheist Hunter

    cedar rapids..........."*pointing a finger" YEP SURE AM! A severed bloody tiny innocent finger that never harmed a soul. I point it for them because a DR and the mother snuffed their life out! As a matter of fact, I'm pointing a billion and during the Judgment may they will be standing before all pro choicers pointing at you themselves before God their defender!

    December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      well lets hope the billions naturally aborted arent pointing their 'tiny innocent fingers' at god.
      That could get awkward.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      by the way, while we are on the subject.
      do these babies remain babies in heaven? or do they become adults?
      and seeing as the majority of these babies would not be viable outside the womb when aborted, how do they cope exactly? do we have little zygotes with wings or what?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cedar Rapids
      Good question! Can a cluster of cells smaller than the head of a pin play a harp?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/

      That's not something either of you will have to worry about it seems. You should ask, how hot is really hot? Do demons like to eat the flesh of atheists? Etc. We'll worry about whether babies play harps or not, they won't be any where you are going so they won't bother you any. I don't think there'll be any harp in he ll either so you're safe.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Kay

      Doc Vestibule...I'd actually like to know if that cluster of cells can *dance* on the head of a pin :-)

      December 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Bet

      @AH

      So if these demons are eating the flesh of unbelievers, what happens when they run out?

      December 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Finger should be pointing in grat1tued

      Why would they be unhappy? They got a guaranteed ticket to heaven. No temptation, no sin, no gilt, no atheists telling them to not believe. Just instant paradise

      December 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bet

      I thought unborn and unbaptized babies went to limbo.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  2. Nietodarwin

    A man`s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
    Albert Einstein

    December 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Nietodarwin..........If only dead men could talk!

      December 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • K. Rhodes

      I bet Einstein would object to the democrat position on abortion...not much different than what his people suffered at the hands of the nazi's.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AH and K.Rhodes. You never answer the question about your position and activity on the other causes of death: starvation, food contamination, road traffic accidents, gun accidents, water contamination, drug abuse, preventable disease. Your only comments are on potential life never about actual life.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    Let's bring back the old bumper stickers from when Jerry Falwell was alive
    THE MORAL MAJORITY IS NEITHER

    December 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Even though I am pro choice, I have no problem with the message of this license plate issue. I do have a problem with the design, though. The digits take up less than 1/4 of the space on the plate. The stacked letters on the end can be difficult to interpret, especially on a vehicle doing better than 65 mph. However, there does appear to be sufficient contrast between the letters and background, unlike some of the other custom plates being offered in different states.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Nietodarwin

    Write there is no god, IN SHOE POLISH

    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  6. JJ

    Christians are always in a relentless pursuit to find the most inventive ways to proselytize for their cult.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  7. Michelle

    Pro-life people are so hypocritical. They are not pro life they are pro-birth. Do the provide food or support to the mothers that canon get an abortion. Do they feed the child and provide the child with an environment where he/she can grow to be a decent human been, or is he forced to live in poverty and become a criminal which will be executed at a later time?

    I hate abortions, I hate human injustice. Pro-lifers are unjust to the poor and needy. Any abortion prevented should come with a $250,000 allocation to raise the child properly.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Teenager

      I don't think your talking about a Pro-lifer, I think your talking about a Conservative politician.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Teenager's 4th Grade Teacher

      I think that you're writing like a 4th grader who has not yet learned the difference between "your" and "you're".

      December 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  8. Nietodarwin

    Way to go to the Courts of NC. Only 27 more states to go to eliminate these plates!!!!

    December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  9. Librarian

    So, there is now a tag for diabetics – does that mean there must also be a tag for non-diabetics?

    For a long time, our tags had a lighthouse on them – shouldn't we have had one that was black, just in case someone has a fundamental dislike for lighthouses?

    December 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      dont recall anyone deliberately voting down an non-diabetic plate, do you?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bet

      Even you know this argument is stupid. Geez.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  10. Atheist Hunter

    SAM..........What you up to now? Bought yourself a tiny hand or foot yet? Maybe they'll let you take one home for your $34.00!

    December 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  11. Atheist Hunter

    ALL PRO-LIFERS SHOULD WRITE ON THEIR CARS WITH SHOE POLISH..............CHOOSE LIFE! ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      NC DISPLAY LICENSE PLATE W/IMPROPER COVERING. $135.00, make my day, goon

      December 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  12. Mohammad A Dar

    I have noticed most of the pro life, anti abortion guys, girls are in their sixties and seventies, done with their s.ex life

    December 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • K. Rhodes

      Amazing and this was pointed out by my wife years ago. A lot of men support abortion. They do so in case they get someone pregnant then they can talk them into an abortion so they don't have to support the child. I would say that is mostly true especially liberals...kill so i don't have to pay for it.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Amazing and this was pointed out by my wife years ago. A lot of men support abortion'

      whats more amazing is the overwhelming majority of people that try to get rid of abortion, with various bills and laws and such, are men too.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      KR – Nationally, nearly close to 2800 teens get preg'nant each day. Go save all child.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • K. Rhodes

      Mohammad A Dar

      "KR – Nationally, nearly close to 2800 teens get preg'nant each day. Go save all child."

      Oh..okay so your moral response is to kill as many of those unborn as possible? Nice logic. Oh by the way..i work with two guys who have adopted babies from outside the U.S. There is no shortage of people who would take them.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      KR – you don't get it, I am talking teens, do you understand social and emotional issues, I prefer there should be no pregnancy at all, but you can't force someone, not matured enough, to live with or give away babies, you can't make moral rules for others, Muslims believe in Honor killing, Do you?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bet

      I'll agree with you that a lot of men support the anti-choice agenda, but I'm an older woman who is pro choice, as are all of my friends. I think it has more to do with religion than age.

      You're also wrong about the other thing, lol.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  13. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/

    CHOOSE LIFE NC!!!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bet

      Dragging out the old gory pictures now, are we?

      December 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • sortakinda

      We are very sorry. UNfortunately, abortions don't look like prosaic sunsets. We already know that BET does not want reality.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bet

      @ sortakinda

      You don't really get sarcasm, do you?

      December 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • sortakinda

      So look at the pictures, BET. It's as close to reality as you'll get.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Gory pictures do not a valid argument make. If they did, we'd never go to war.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      AH, I'll bet pictures of a hysterectomy would be just as gory.

      You can show all the pictures you want. It won't change the law.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  14. Nietodarwin

    Keep on steaming there atheist hunter. I think you will soon blow a gasket, take a heart attack, whatever. I'm laughing at your quotes, REALLY LAUGHING at your pics. You HELP my cause SO MUCH. Thank ya thank ya thank ya.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • JC

      Why are pictures like that funny to you?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • JC

      Regardless of your side? Pictures of aborted fetuses/ babies should not make anyone laugh

      December 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • K. Rhodes

      Help your cause? You mean by showing the barbaric act supported by the democrat party?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Nietodarwin............better to clog w/ truth than liberal lies that destroy the mental health of women after they kill their babies and have to live with it! Laugh, laugh while you can. God said you would laugh, ......... but not for long!

      December 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bet

      @ A**H***

      Yeah, because the mental health of the woman is your primary concern. Right.

      What about the mental health of the unwanted, unloved, abused child?

      You only care about it until it's born, then you vote for cutting its health care. Hypocrite.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/

    You know a nation is sick when it defends the hands that do this and curses the PEOPLE in the pics! SICK, SICK, SICK! That's what you all are to take pleasure in knowing this happens to innocent children!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      your problem ah is that you truly seem think people actually take pleasure in abortion.
      bizarre.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Then why do it? I don't do anything I don't choose to do and want to do! COP OUT!

      December 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • lol??

      Course they take pleasure, cedum. It's a VERY profitable business.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Atheist Hunter – Then why do it? I don't do anything I don't choose to do and want to do! COP OUT!'

      sorry but you reject reasons as to why anyone would choose abortion and instead throw in nonsense like 'you yell MURDER THEM!' and 'you take pleasure'
      you do your cause no justice in such a stand.
      you want to change it? you talk, you reason, you listen. pointing a figure, screaming while having spittle flying from your lips doesnt convince anyone.
      The only one getting anything out of your posts is you. you vent but ultimately waste your time.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Akira

      Women who obtain abortion represent every religious affiliation. 43% of women obtaining abortion identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic; and 13% of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.

      Religion has nothing to do with abortions.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      *pointing a finger

      December 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      CEDAR RAPIDS..............I'M JUST DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING. VOICING MY SIDE! GET OVER IT!

      December 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Akira.........abortion is murder. I don't care if you call yourself the pope and get one, you are an enemy of God! "I hate hands that shed innocent blood. – YHVH"

      December 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Mom of 4

      When I was in the hospital delivering one of my babies, the woman in the next room was admitted to deliver a spontaneous (god caused?) abortion fetus. It was her third time at this. Unfortunately and tragically, I could hear every word through the thin walls. She said, "I don't think I can go through this again" and through labor-pained gasps, "Please don't let me see it". Shall we take pictures of all of the horrific spontaneous abortions too?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • K. Rhodes

      I love reading liberals defending abortion...i am so glad i don't have to defend murder as part of my ideology. Of course you can always label it the republican war on women if it help you sleep at night.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Atheist Hunter – CEDAR RAPIDS..............I'M JUST DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING. VOICING MY SIDE! GET OVER IT!'

      However the manner you are doing it is different. Look at you now, upper case shouting no less.
      You shout, you accuse, you make all sorts of bizarre claims.
      I have no problem 'getting over it' but you obviously seem to have an issue. Your ranting is getting more extreme, and with this one you are now even 'shouting'.
      I can only image that right now your heart rate is high and you are stressed by the posts here, maybe even clenching your fists in anger.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Hypocrite?

      Of course it’s not pretty and it’s not anybody’s first choice, that’s why you should be 100% for birth control; or are you one of those hypocrites that’s against both

      December 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  16. empresstrudy

    I'm from NC am pro choice and I think this is a vapid waste of everyone's time. Have not the courts have anything better to do?

    December 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • lol??

      They have fashion shows.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      dont blame the courts, blame the officials who made sure they voted down an alternative plate, they caused the problem.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Nietodarwin

    Dwight D Eisenhower Republican, (during his presidency) and Harry S Truman Democrat PROUD SUPPORTERS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD WHEN IT WAS FOUNDED.
    The Talibangelicals are just like the Taliban, enemies to our country. RELIGION IS THE OPPOSITE OF PATRIOTISM.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/

      here's you a pic of your so called patriotism!

      December 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Ha! yer a matriarchal mutant. Bubba is callin'.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Index.cfm?FirstPhoto=26

    A picture silences a thousand lies!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      What lie? An abortion ends the life of a zygote or fetus, big deal. I looked at your gross pics. BIG DEAL Doesn't change my mind. There is no lie, so F U. It's NONE of your business what a female (of any age) wants to do. It's NONE of your religion's business what we do with our SECULAR government. You get to vote, (and LOST ha ha) You get to have your religious freedom to pray to your delusion. Where is the lie?? Who wants to pay more tax dollars for unwanted children. Let's TAX RELIGION if you want huge orphanages.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      fe·tus [ ftəss ] unborn offspring: an unborn vertebrate at a stage when all the structural features of the adult are recognizable, especially an unborn human offspring after eight weeks of development

      If it looks like a baby, hello, it's a baby! Reason you self to the gates of he ll! It's really hot there!

      December 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      AH

      According to your logic this is a baby.

      http://www.google.com/imgres?q=realistic+baby+doll&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&biw=1366&bih=567&tbm=isch&tbnid=2okxzCKPereyfM:&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ashley-Breathing-Lifelike-Baby-Doll-So-Truly-Real-/330833067654%3Fpt%3DUS_Dolls_Bears_Toys%26hash%3Ditem4d072ffe86&docid=X_OQQXkazG57xM&imgurl=http://s7d4.scene7.com/is/image/CollectiblesToday/pdtl-300372001%253F%2524pdtl610%2524&w=610&h=411&ei=857HUIvnC4Po9ASoroGQDg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=660&vpy=167&dur=1150&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=100&ty=89&sig=107317900291078734444&page=1&tbnh=141&tbnw=215&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:138

      December 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Typical frustrated Christian.

      The democrats won. Roe V Wade is safe. Abortion is legal. Having lost in every meaningful way he is now going for shock value.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      What? Obama winning with this economy isn't shocking enough?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  19. lol??

    Sam doesn't know what a socie is? No wonder he's confused. Socie is a socialist, be it national, country grabbin', world order makin' and demobacracy lovin'. Mob rule like the Sodomites.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      mob rule like the sodomites?
      well this should be interesting.
      what mob rule like the sodomites exactly?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • sam

      Boring troll.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • rAmen

      I think you need some touch up on your history lesson

      December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • lol too

      Cedar
      I take it you have never seen a Greek army training manual.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'lol too

      Cedar
      I take it you have never seen a Greek army training manual.'

      well you know, its all Greek to me.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  20. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Index.cfm?FirstPhoto=26

    Get behind me Satan and all his puppets!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Apparently prayer does not change anything

      .

      December 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bet

      Satan has puppets?

      Are they hand puppets or marionettes?

      December 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
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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.