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Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:13 PM

Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California

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Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California

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ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN | 11.25.2020 9:30 AM

QUEER, SLAAYRR license plates are OK, says judge. Thanks to the First Amendment, the state of California can't ban residents from vanity license plate messages that it deems "offensive to good taste and decency." A federal court ruled Tuesday that the state rule was an unconstitutional restriction on free expression.

The case against the California Department of Motor Vehicles—heard by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California— was brought by five people who were told their choices of vanity plate messages were off-limits. The five plaintiffs were represented by the libertarian law firm Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF).

"Vague bans on offensive speech allow bureaucrats to inject their subjective preferences and undermine the rule of law," said PLF's Wen Fa in a statement.

One of the people who filed the suit is a gay man who owns a record company called Queer Folks Records. He was originally told that he couldn't get a license plate saying QUEER because it was an insult. ... Another plaintiff—who loves the band Slayer—was denied a SLAAYRR license plate because the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said the message was "threatening, aggressive or hostile."

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Offensive License Plates Are Free Speech, Court Tells California (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2020 OP
hlthe2b Nov 2020 #1
alwaysinasnit Nov 2020 #2
RockRaven Nov 2020 #3
LSFL Nov 2020 #4
Karadeniz Nov 2020 #5
ExciteBike66 Nov 2020 #6

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:23 PM

1. Sounds logical until you see some that are really inciting...

Seems like they might want to avoid plates that say "FUCKU" or something similar?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:36 PM

2. Ohhhh, can I get one that reads "FUTRUMP?"

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:37 PM

3. So if I had money to burn, I'd be applying for FCK TRMP and putting it on a ridiculously expensive

car which is wired to hell and back again with cameras and whatnot, parking it where it's sure to get vandalized by MAGAts, and then suing the shit out of them in addition to demanding prosecution..... Then repairing the vehicle and finding a new parking spot. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.

Sadly I have no such "fuck it, I'm gonna troll MAGAts for sport like the maddest of madlads just because I can" funds...

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2020, 11:42 PM

4. Skm1dk?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2020, 12:34 AM

5. I believe in free speech, but I also acknowledge that some speech is offensive.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2020, 07:58 AM

6. Aren't license plates technically owned by the state?

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