The absurdity continues, and the struggle goes on.
Here's the plate -
A federal appeals court has issued a ruling banning Choose Life license plates in New York state and claimed in its decision that pro-life views are “patently offensive.” The court issued ruling in The Children First Foundation v. Fiala, which rejects a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty plate with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
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Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco decried the decision.
“Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization. While the district court affirmed this basic freedom, the circuit court denied free speech in favor of government censorship. The state doesn’t have the authority to target The Children First Foundation specialty plates for censorship based on its life-affirming viewpoint. The state has wrongly gotten away with speech discrimination against our client for more than 10 years. We will review our legal options.”
The battle to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates has been going on in the Empire State for years.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Children First Foundation in 2004 against state officials who denied its attempt to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles rejected CFF’s design in August 2002 — considering it “too political and controversial” to approve. The organization redesigned the plate, adding the group’s web site to it to better explain its purpose, and the DMV rejected it again.
The state dismissed the attempt to create the plate and said it was rejected in order “to avoid any appearance of governmental support for either side in the divisive national abortion debate.”
Saying its free speech rights were denied, Children First filed suit with assistance from Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and, in January 2005, a federal judge ruled it had sufficiently argued its First Amendment rights would be violated.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s second attempt to ban the plates and allowed the lawsuit to move forward. The DMV eventually suspended review of specialty plates — a move that Elizabeth Rex, president of the Children First Foundation, says was done specifically to block the Choose Life plate.