COLUMBIA -- A federal court judge has ruled South Carolina's anti-abortion license plates are unconstitutional. The plates, which include the slogan 'Choose Life,' violate the First Amendment because they give anti-abortion advocates a forum to express their beliefs, while abortion rights supports have no license plate of their own, Senior U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman ruled last week. 

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the state plans to appeal the decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bertelsman's decision is at odds with a ruling made by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that Louisiana abortion rights advocates had no standing to sue that state over its anti-abortion plate. The whole issue could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, especially if Bertelsman's ruling is upheld... 

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1,062 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 17 years ago by KikiPeepers

Are South Carolina`s anti-abortion license plates unconstitutional?
COLUMBIA -- A federal court judge has ruled South Carolina`s anti-abortion license plates are unconstitutional. The plates, which include the slogan `Choose Life,` violate the First Amendment because they give anti-abortion advocates a forum to express their beliefs, while abortion rights supports have no license plate of their own, Senior U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman ruled last week.

A spokesman for the attorney general`s office said the state plans to appeal the decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bertelsman`s decision is at odds with a ruling made by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that Louisiana abortion rights advocates had no standing to sue that state over its anti-abortion plate. The whole issue could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, especially if Bertelsman`s ruling is upheld...

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19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Wednesday 1/8/03 - 6:20:12 PM EST (GMT-5)
Sounds like a bunch of crying and whining to me. Is it fair that Bobby has a cupcake at lunch and George doesn't? No, but the teacher isn't going to take it away. THAT'S STUPID!!!!!!!
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Wednesday 1/8/03 - 6:23:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Um, no, stopping the use of those plates is unconstitutional as it violates free speech. There's nothing stopping the pro-choice people from trying to get plates that say 'Choose Choice' When is the insanity going to end?
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 9:53:19 AM EST (GMT-5)
Exactly ... if the pro-choice people want one so bad they just have to make one. If the state wouldn't let them have their license plates, I can see where the lawsuit would be - but they shouldn't get mad at the pro-life people for thinking of it first :P
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 10:02:35 AM EST (GMT-5)
choose life - but support the death penalty
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 10:03:47 AM EST (GMT-5)
seeing as this is such a controversial issue, it was unprofessional for the South Carolina Department of Transportation to make an allowance for this since they should show an unbiased approach to the matter... but that's just my opinion... after all... we're talking about a state that allowed a hundred year old bigot to remain in the senate... so its kinda expected for them to do something like this...
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 10:41:42 AM EST (GMT-5)
i think it's stupid that they made it. especially since abortion is legal, protected by the constitution. but i wouldn't waste my time protesting it.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 10:43:45 AM EST (GMT-5)
no not at all.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 11:55:33 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm offended by plates with rival college teams' insignia on them. That doesn't mean they should be banned.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 11:58:07 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm especially offended when I see people with Texas A&M plates, especially when they're on a big ol' piece of crap. Its like yea, graduate from here and you can get this. totally off topic.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/9/03 - 12:10:58 PM EST (GMT-5)
Freedom of speech, the first amendment should allow for it.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/14/03 - 3:43:04 PM EST (GMT-5)
nope
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/14/03 - 3:47:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, it's freedom of speech. If some pro-life people want to advertize or whatever, they should get bumper stickers.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 11:57:21 AM EST (GMT-5)
We have such plates in MS, and so far no one has complained. I am sure that neon was being sarcastic, but i oppose abortion and support the death penalty, which is no more a contradiction than supporting the murder of babies and opposing the just and painless execution of convicted criminals.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:03:11 PM EST (GMT-5)
Then they also must allow pro-choice plates as well, wouldn't you think?? I agree Del...it's not surprising from a state where they allowed a 100 year old bigot to remain in the Senate even though he was completely oblivious to what was going on around him. LOL! Also, it doesn't surprise me about Mississippi---the state that elected a bigot like Trent Lott.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:05:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Maybe they should not only ban these plates in So Carolina and Mississippi, but also just ban South Carolina and Mississippi entirely!!
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:07:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
Trent Lott is not a bigot, just got a big mouth...and he is suffering for it. And Strom thurmund is a great American. And tsurumi, you haven't answered my question about Japan, they are some of the most prejudiced people I have ever met, and you seem to know a lot about them.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:13:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
Where is your question about Japan?? I agree that Japan has many bigots of its own. I disagree with you on one thing though. Trent Lott is a bigot WITH a big mouth. He just thought old style good ol' boy bigotry would not hurt him. Well, he's an anachronism and got what he deserved. Strom Thurmond is NOT a great American. He is an American shame and a shame to South Carolina. He was a vicious segregationist who toned his bigotry down, but didn't jettison it. He ran on a segregationist ticket to continue a racist social system. Is that great in your eyes??
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:22:15 PM EST (GMT-5)
Isn't 'Choose Life' a pro-choice statement?
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:29:07 PM EST (GMT-5)
and have they disallowed any pro-abortion plates? Not that I'm aware of, so much for tsurumi's argument on that point.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:30:47 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, because those against abortion are against choice. Pro-choice means if you don't like abortion, then you have the choice not to have one, but you don't have the right to restrict the choices of others. The pro-life movement is inherently against choice. The pro-choice movement is about choice for anyone regardless of their beliefs. That is the difference Cow Dung.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:34:16 PM EST (GMT-5)
Ha ha - that's the problem CowDung, pro-choice people forget that not killing your offspring is a valid choice too :P
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:34:37 PM EST (GMT-5)
Then why are they saying 'CHOOSE Life'? If there were no choice, one couldn't possibly make the choice of life.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:37:55 PM EST (GMT-5)
It's freedom of speech. If pro-choicers want license plates, they should get someone to make pro-choice plates. I'm sure it could happen.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:39:21 PM EST (GMT-5)
And it doesn't really sound that horrible. I'm not especially offended unless they specifically say that abortion should be banned.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/18/03 - 12:44:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Those who advocate 'Choose Life' want to end a woman's freedom of choice to get an abortion. Are you disagreeing with that Cow Dung?? On the other hand, pro-choice advocates believe that you have the right to choose: If you are against abortion, then don't have one. If you decide to have an abortion, then that right should be guaranteed as well. Pro-life advocates only believe in one way. Their way. Pro-choice advocates think that you should follow the dictates of your own beliefs, but not restrict others.

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