North Carolina 'Choose Life' license plate ruled unconstitutiona

North Carolina “Choose Life” license plate ruled unconstitutional

Posted:

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina(AP) - A federal judge has ruled a North Carolina plan to offer license plates supporting the pro-life movement unconstitutional, saying the state cannot issue the plates without offering a similar product for the opposing viewpoint. 

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Attorney General's Office told The Associated Press Monday the state hasn't decided whether to appeal the decision from U.S. District Court Judge James Fox. His order from Friday follows the one he issued more than a year that temporarily blocked North Carolina from offering the plates.

Fox said in his judgement that the state's plan violates the First Amendment. The proposed license plate featured two children with the words "Choose Life" printed above them. 

"The State's offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice plate constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," he said according to The Associated Press.

A spokesman for The ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, which sued over the plates in September 2011, hailed Fox's ruling. 

"This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU-NCLF. 

The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 289, which authorized the creation of the pro-life plate, during the 2011 legislative session.

However, the legislature rejected six separate amendments that would have authorized a license plate supporting the pro-choice movement. The proposed plates featured phrases such as "Trust Women. Respect Choice," or simply "Respect Choice".

Republican Rep. Mitch Gillespie of McDowell County sponsored the bill and tells The Associated Press he'll encourage the attorney general to appeal the decision.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    Police in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto say six people were injured, one critically, when a car jumped a curb outside a cafe.More >>
    Police say a man in his 90s drove on to a busy sidewalk near Stanford University, hitting five pedestrians and leaving one of them with major injuries.More >>
  • Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Father time reared his head

    Father time reared his head

    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
  • Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    YUMA, AZ- Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man. Regina Garcia went before Judge Gregory Stewart in Yuma Justice Court Thursday afternoon.More >>
    Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man.More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
  • Yuma

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    YUMA, AZ - Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez. 35-year old Rachel Spry nowMore >>
    Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez.More >>