U.S. District Judge James C. Fox has banned North Carolina from issuing “Choose Life” license plates, ruling it unconstitutional.
The federal judge stated in his ruling that:
”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.”
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in September of last year after Republican-led state legislators approved the “Choose Life” plate. However, the legislature refused to authorize plates with abortion rights slogans.
The six separate amendments that were denied included phrases such as “Trust Women. Respect Choice,” or simply “Respect Choice.”
The plate was one of 70 new specialty plates approved and signed into law by Governor Bev Perdue in June 2011. Chis Brook of the ACLU has stated:
“This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom. 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 Gillespie, who sponsored the bill for the plate plans on consulting the attorney general in order to appeal Judge Fox’s ruling.
Do you feel the ruling by Judge Fox was fair?