Local/State

ACLU sues over "Choose Life" NC license plates

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said Thursday it has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a specialty license plate that "supports a woman's right to reproductive freedom."

The group said the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill last session authorizing an anti-abortion "Choose Life" plate, but rejected any plate proposals that support the opposite opinion.

The ACLU said options included a new plate that stated either, “Trust Women. Respect Choice,” or “Respect Choice.”

"As such, the lawsuit alleges that the State is engaging in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," the ACLU said in a news release.

“This is a basic issue of freedom of speech and fairness. It is a fundamental tenet of the First Amendment that the State cannot use its authority to promote one side of a debate while denying the same opportunity to the other side," said Katherine Lewis Parker, Legal Director of the ACLU North Carolina Legal Foundation.

The ACLU is also seeking a temporary restraining order blocking the manufacture of the pro-life NC plates until the lawsuit is decided.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found on the ACLU of North Carolina’s web site at: http://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/.

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