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Federal court: North Carolina’s ‘choose life’ license plates are unconstitutional

February 14, 2014

Upholding a lower court decision, a federal appeals court has unanimously ruled that North Carolina legislation permitting “choose life” license plates is unconstitutional.

Because the legislation does not permit pro-abortion license messages, the state engaged in “blatant viewpoint discrimination squarely at odds with the First Amendment,” the court ruled.

“I am naturally disappointed at the appeals court ruling prohibiting the issuance of the Choose Life license plate in North Carolina,” said Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte. “Since 30 states and the District of Columbia already allow these plates, I hope that a way can be found, either through the legislature or the courts, for North Carolinians to express themselves in this way.”


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  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Feb. 15, 2014 4:09 PM ET USA

    I did some research and found this ruling is in agreement with rulings in other circuits. Virginia added a pro-choice licenses plate as a result, in 2008. I live in northern Virginia and the pro-life plates are everywhere. I have never seen one of the pro-choice ones. Not worried. Let them exist, very few would want them. Here are links to what the two Virginia plates look like:

  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 14, 2014 6:34 PM ET USA

    I am solidly pro-life but the NC problem is not with the "Choose Life" plates. The problem is with the pro-abortion plates. If Christians want to speak in the "public square" they must respect the rights of those with opposing viewpoints. Jesus engaged others in the public square, he didn't have His followers shut them up.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 14, 2014 6:24 PM ET USA

    They could legalize license plates saying "Choose Death." Yes, I'm being sarcastic.