|What say ye? (In Pennsylvania, a friend of mine successfully obtained a vanity plate that read, "PEN15". GUFFAW!!!|
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California sued for censoring personalized license plates - WND
'Senseless results' from law that gives government too much power
By WND Staff
California is being sued by car owners who want more freedom to express themselves on personalized licenses plates.
Representing the car owners, Pacific Legal Foundation contends the dispute should already have been resolved.
"Less than six months ago, the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled that environmental license plates unequivocally express personal speech, not government speech," Pacific Legal said in a court filing.
"While the DMV ultimately settled that lawsuit by issuing the plate (COYW) it had previously determined to be 'offensive,' the DMV has not revised its regulation. It annually denies tens of thousands of applications that it deems 'offensive.'"
The case is on behalf of Paul Ogilvie, Andrea Campanile, James Blair, Paul Crawford and Amrit Kohli.
"Laws that give government officials discretion to ban speech they find offensive lead to senseless results," said lawyer Wen Fa. "Chris earned his nickname through years of service to our country, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to express that in a personalized license plate."
The legal team explained: "After Chris Ogilvie was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army following four tours overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, he bought a new car and applied for a personalized license plate that read 'OGWOOLF.' The plate simply tied in his military nickname, OG, and his nickname at home, Woolf.
"Ogilvie was shocked and furious when the California DMV rejected his license-plate application, alleging that OG is short for 'original gangster' and too offensive for motorists. To Ogilvie, the personalized plate also represented a very important form of self-expression protected by the same Constitution that he defended during his years of service."
The filing said "DUK N A" for Ducati and Andrea was refused "because it sounded like an obscene phrase."
"SLAAYRR," a reference to a metal band, was refused "because it was considered 'threatening, aggressive, or hostile.'"
The complaint, contending the state's regulations violate the First Amendment, seeks an order halting the practice.
"Personalized license plate configurations on Environmental License Plates reflect the applicant's personal expression," the filing said, arguing the state is restricting an individual's First Amendment free speech rights.
The filing noted that the state collects some $60 million a year from its plate program. But some 30,000 applications are rejected each year because the message is deemed offensive.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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