Judge Rules North Carolina ‘Choose Life’ License Plates Unconstitutional
A federal judge ruled on Friday that North Carolina’s anti-abortion “Choose Life” license plates violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
In his 21-page opinion (PDF), U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox said that the state Legislature’s decision to offer a “Choose Life” license plate while refusing to offer a pro-choice alternative “constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”
North Carolina began offering the plates in 2011 as one of 79 specialty plates approved by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. Fifteen dollars of the extra $25 specialty plate fee went to Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, a private group of “pregnancy care ministries.”
Lawmakers rejected six abortion rights amendments that would have authorized plates that said “Respect Choice” or “Trust Women. Respect Choice.”
So not only does the State of North Carolina think nothing of putting political message on their license plates while also denying an opposing voice, they are giving state fee money to a religious organization.