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Published On: Sun, Dec 16th, 2012

‘Choose Life’ license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

A federal judge ruled on Friday 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.

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates and praised the ruling.

“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.”

State Representative Mitch Gillepsie said he push for an appeal of the judge’s decision.

Every case is different. They could rule differently,” Gillespie told WRAL. “There’s a very good debate over whether it’s viewpoint discrimination.”

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, the WRAL report added.

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.

Choose Life North Carolina license plate

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  1. Pro-life group calls for Supreme Court to rule on ‘Choose Life’ license plates - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] North Carolina ruled the “Choose Life” plate unconstitutional […]

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