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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Vanity plates catch ACLU's eye

    The American Civil Liberties Union has fired the first shot in what could turn into a legal battle over the state's control of what messages may appear on personalized license plates.
    Colorado chapter legal director Mark Silverstein earlier this week asked the Colorado Department of Revenue for records including copies of plate applications denied since Jan. 1, 2007, because they were considered "offensive to the general public," or "offensive to good taste and decency."
    Revenue department spokesman Mark Couch said he had received the request and the agency will comply with the Colorado Open Records Act.
    The ACLU became interested in the case after a Centennial woman was denied a plate with a message trumpeting her affection for tofu. Kelley Coffman-Lee, 38, asked the Revenue Department's Division of Motor Vehicles to approve a special plate emblazoned with "ILVTOFU" for her Suzuki SL-7.
    But "FU" is on a long list of letter combinations barred by the division because someone could interpret the letters as an abbreviated obscenity.
    Courts have held that when the state sets up a program allowing personalized license plates, a decision whether to approve the message must comply with the First Amendment, Silverstein said.
    A standard such as "offensive to good taste and decency" is too vague, subjective and indefinite to survive a First Amendment challenge, he said.
    Unsafe at any read?

    When it comes to offensive, vanity plates are a bit like pornography people know 'em when they see 'em. Or do they?
    Oklahoma's Tulsa World reported last August that plates rejected in the Sooner State include "U-IDIOT," "BUFMAMA," "IMNUDE" and "YRUGLY."
    Kansas found "TOPLESS" acceptable because the plate was intended for a convertible. Rejected by Kansas? "XTCY," "PIMPN" and "2HOT4U."
    A columnist from Salt Lake City's Deseret Morning News pointed out that "MERLOT" was off-limits, but "PD4BYEX," "IM4BEEF," "SATAN"" and "GAYSROK" which was initially rejected made the cut.

  2. #2
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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  3. #3
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    The ACLU will prostitute themselves just about everywhere these days, won't they?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    LOL I'm so slow...it took me a minute to figure out what that plate could be construed as....

    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  5. #5
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Courts have held that when the state sets up a program allowing personalized license plates, a decision whether to approve the message must comply with the First Amendment, Silverstein said.
    This seems unbelievable to me. It's also long held that people have no expectation of privacy as far as their plates go since they are observable by the public and are issued by the state which is why I don't need a reason to run one through CCIC/NCIC. The plate is the property of the state. So if the state is nice enough to allow you to have a personalized plate, I think they should be able to regulate it however they want. I don't see this as advancing the cause of free speech. I see this as states abandoning the practice of allowing personal plates because it's too much of a hassle.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

 

 

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