Friday, June 19, 2015

Supreme Court Rules Texas Can Refuse to Issue Confederate License Plates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Texas’ refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag, rejecting a free-speech challenge.
The court said in a 5-4 ruling that Texas can limit the content of license plates because they are state property and not the equivalent of bumper stickers.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sought a Texas plate bearing its logo with the battle flag. A state board rejected it over concerns that the license plate would offend many Texans.
This photo provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shows the design of a proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. (Image source: AP/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)
This photo provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shows the design of a proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. (Image source: AP/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)
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 Justice Stephen Breyer said the state’s decision to reject the group’s plate did not violate its free speech rights. Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas and the court’s other three liberal justices joined Breyer’s opinion. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that states can’t force drivers to display license plates that contain messages with which the drivers disagree, Breyer said. “And just as Texas cannot require SCV (the Sons of Confederate Veterans) to convey `the state’s ideological message,’” Breyer said, quoting from that earlier ruling, “SCV cannot force Texas to include a Confederate battle flag on its specialty license plates.4th #SCOTUS op: Texas specialty license plate design = gov't speech. TX can refuse to issue plates w proposed Confederate Veterans' design
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 18, 2015

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