'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. Science

    Free speech helps to educate the masses..............POLITICIANS TOO !

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

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    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !..................Creationists...........ID believers and christians !

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    Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!

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    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

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    Where do morals come from?.............the answer is not the bible read and find out !

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    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!...

    By the numbers .......easy to do !

    Doc................Love FACTS !...............Evolution is a dirty word to them !

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    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

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    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

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    They lost in 2005............still trying !

    May 6, 2013 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |


    May 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Willian Chilcote

    i always believe that buddhism is sort of the religion of peace compared to other religions. buddhism speaks of peace all the time...

    Please do stop by our new homepage
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    January 10, 2013 at 2:24 am |
  3. Snarkhunter

    How about: "Choose life. Ban handguns." ?

    January 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  4. bassmaster22

    How about no special plates for anything? A police office friend of mine in Florida says there are so many down there between sports, challenger and manatees that it's hard for them to keep track of real plates vs. fakes.

    We don't have specially designed driver's licenses so why do we need special plates? Seems like a completely useless product and argument to me. We don't need to accessories everything in life.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  5. paulronco

    Good. They've also been ruled bad for your eyes.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  6. Deborah Torres

    I bet Conneticut is screaming tonight CHOOSE LIFE ! God help us all, and God be with those families who are going through this devestation... You are definetely in my prayers...

    December 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Dippy

      Devastation, not devestation.
      Definitely, not definetely
      Posts are always more effective when they appear to be written by a grownup.

      December 15, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Nathan

      You don't need to dredge up their tragedy and tie it to every story, no matter how unrelated, that comes along.

      December 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  7. lol??

    There's a collectible plate that reads: "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN".

    December 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  8. lol??

    Personalize it, like "Charlie Wins!"

    December 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  9. MrsBootsie

    I would like a bumper sticker that says, "Choose life- they may be the one who cures Cancer"

    December 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or the one who exterminates 6 million Jews.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      Or one that might become an abortion doctor and kill thousands.

      You agree with that right Tom?

      December 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Great Flying Spagetti Monster

      Or perhaps – Chose Life – Let's have another Columbine?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  10. lol??

    Front plate: "Jesus Had a Tomb"
    Rear Plate "Child had a Womb"

    December 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Child?" There is no "child" in a womb, dumbazz. There's a fetus, and embryo, or a blastocyst. A child has already been born.

      December 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • lol??

      ""with" AND "child"
      occurs in 45 verses in the KJV, including 25 exact phrases shown first."

      December 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      There is no word for the huge amount of stupidity in your last post.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • lol??

      "2Sa 11:5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I [am] with child."............................... Women, you have to discern how they phrase things.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't care what the Babble says because it has sh!t-all to do with law in a secular government. Go get pregnant with a clue, idiot.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • hal 9001

      Your assertion is correct, "hawaiiguest". There is, in fact, no word for the huge amount of stupidity in "lol??"'s last post.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • lol??

      Women, if they want to bully and abuse the babe, it's a fetus. Approved by girly men adorned in black dresses.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Try again, this time coherently.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Science for a Socialist is a weapon for bullyin'. Just a big CON. That's how they seared their consciences......"1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

      December 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Ok now I know you're a poe.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is that you again, herbie, you poor thing?

      December 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Huebert

      @ hawaiiguest

      It took you this long to figure our that lol is a poe?

      December 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • The Life of 3.14

      "Don't care what the Babble says.."

      I think a book that millions trust carries a bit more weight than what you believe Tom. Unless you can tell us why your opinion on the definition of a "child" is superior.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • 282Mikado

      Tom, If your definition of "child" is correct, then why, when a pregnant woman is murdered, do they treat it as a double homicide?

      December 16, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • drillbabydrill77

      Tom, Tom .... can you provide any substantive evidence that a human being was ever born NATURALLY without first having gone through the fetal stage?

      The craziness of the Abortion situation in Amerika has people opposed to destroying a fetus are the 'bad' guys, while those favoring the "Right to Choose" are the good guys .... It's time to simply get all local, state and federal GOVERNMENT out of the abortion issue...and let those who want an abortion get them, and those that don't, just don't! Keep your own religious beliefs in your own house.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    To the CHARD: Just one question, Vegetable. Do you think you're making any progress here? Do you imagine you're convincing anyone? Have you ever converted anybody by posting on an anonymous website? Who? When?

    You become less credible with every barrage of posts, Chard. The more snark and drivel you post, the more people see through you.

    December 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  12. Guy

    You have won me over, I now believe in every word of the bible and/or your interprertation; I am now awaiting in giddy anticipation of the judgement of the god of Isreal to determine my everlasting destinity. I have confessed all my sins and transgressios, a long list, I will be willing to share, if you are willing to spit out your sins. You win HALLELUJAH JESUS.
    PS: I don't supposed you would be willing to tell us about your dirty little secrets, really, I will show you mine, if you will show me yours. Pope Benny da 16 TH.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  13. Guy

    You make statenments on this blog and when someone calls you on those statements, you tell them to get organized. BS. you fraud...
    He (Chad) is hopelessly ignorant or hoprlessly disingenious.
    Now, I think you will run into your "ad hominen" excuse to not answer; lordy, lordy they are picking on me.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Sorta kinda

    Put all the religious/ anti-religious stuff aside. You would be arrested if you mistreated a dog or cat. But you can tear an unborn child limb from limb, rip out its heart to complete the job and that's just fine? Forget about the theoreticals. There is no woman who was ever proud of having an abortion-for good reason. It is an act of brutality.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      You misrepresent what happens. I know hyperbole gets the emotions going but it doesn't make for a reasoned argument.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Sorta kinda


      What does happen? Have you performed an abortion? Had one? Observed one? There's no magic wand waving and giggles all around. No tennis lessons in a half hour. It is a brutal act of violence on a mother. Tut tut all you want. It is not an academic discussion when the violence is done

      December 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      "It is a brutal act of violence on a mother"

      So is open heart surgery, reconstructive hip surgery or tumour removal.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @End Religion

      You said, "So is open heart surgery, reconstructive hip surgery or tumour removal."
      I don't think they perform those procedures on a walk-in basis.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stupid git: fetal animals are aborted all the time by vets.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      @LinCA: then i guess it's convenient the quote wasn't "It is a brutal act of violence on a mother performed as a walk-in surgery."

      December 14, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  15. SeanNJ

    @Chad: You said, "However, the resurrection of Jesus is certainly a falsifiable event. It isnt an opinion. It is easily countered if it isnt true. That is what makes the Christian belief so unique, it is grounded in a falsifiable historical event."

    How exactly are we supposed to falsify that event now? It may have been falsifiable at the time it possibly occurred, but we certainly don't have anything to work with now aside from the observable resurrection rate of 0% we've seen over the last 2000 years.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Athy

      Shit, you'd think good old common sense would falsify it for anyone with average intelligence that is not completely biblewashed.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Lisa

      It's ironic that a Christian would argue that Jesus had to be dead dead and then risen when so much is made of "near death" experiences where people so appear quite dead only to wake up again. I have no problem with a Jesus having a near death experience while on the cross, being sealed up in a tomb, waking up and getting the guards attention, being let out and going to ground lease the authorities recapture him and make a proper job of it next time. That would explain the later sightings, and is fully in line with the point that he was taken down before his legs could be broken, which was usual Roman practice to ensure death.

      December 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  16. Big Bushy Mustache

    Another Liscense Plate: "Untill you put it through college, it's just a piece of meat"

    December 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • I'm here all week...

      Q: What takes up 12 parking spaces?
      A: 6 Women drivers.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  17. Big Bushy Mustache

    Religion is the opium of the masses. Women should do what is best for their own lives and should be trusted to make descisions that will directly affect them such as having children.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • I'm here all week...

      Q: What is loud and obnoxious?
      A: A woman.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Sorta kinda

      Good idea, Karl Marx. You used to call it the opiate of the people. Let's see: Communism 1917-1989 in Europe. Christianity circa 60 AD-2012 and counting. If it isn't a good idea, it'll die out.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • OTOH

      Sorta kinda,

      Hinduism in India – over 7,000 years and counting - billions of adherents over the centuries - must make those gods real, huh?
      Buddhism predates Christianity too, by about 600 years, and is quite popular.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      SK. Communism existed before, and exists after, the Soviets. In theory at least Christianity doesn't run any governments.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Sorta kinda

      The comparison was between Marxism and Christianity. But an unbiased observer might attribute enduring elements of truth in Hinduism and Buddhism to explain their history. The great religions address the part of you that doesn't sit on a toilet.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Sorta kinda


      The comparison was European Marxism with Christianity. A true Marxist might say Cuba and North Korea are deviant, crazed monarchies, essentially.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Lisa

      Sorta kinda
      Beliefs in astrology and magic have been around since way before Christianity and even Judaism, and they're still going strong.

      Nothing dies harder than a bad idea.
      Julia Cameron

      December 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  18. Big Bushy Mustache

    I would like a bumper sticker that says: Choose Abortion, Save the Planet from Over Population.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • lol??

      Yeah, like ye olde USA is over populated. Then the educratists sell citizenship for the price of a 2 year degree. Keep those borders open! Well you got yer education prez. (with sealed grades, of course)

      December 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many unwanted kids have you adopted or fostered, lolly-poop?

      December 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More to the point: how many times have you given birth, lol?

      December 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      lol. Actually the world including the USA is overpopulated. Food and water will be major issues over the next few decades. I know you feel that won't affect you, rapture and all, but we'll see.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • lol??

      Santa, don't confuse me with a rapturist. Their born again birthright doesn't mean any more to them than Esau's birthright did to him. Rapturists think there is something special about Rabbis with their flocks.

      December 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's taking you so long to respond, lolly? Counting heads?

      December 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
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About this blog

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.