As I told you yesterday, a federal judge has ruled that the messages on “specialty license plates” in Illinois are covered under the 1st Amendment and can’t be regulated by government.
If this ruling stands, all it will take is 800 or so Illinoisans to sign up for the license plates and the secretary of state will have to make them.
So, what messages would you like to see on future specialty plates? Snark encouraged.
Late bonus question: Should Illinois do away with the specialty plates altogether? Explain.
*** UPDATE *** Zorn makes a good point. After quoting part of the judge’s decision…
(The state) argues that if the â€œChoose Lifeâ€ message is permissible, than the state would also have to issue Ku Klux Klan or Nazi plates to avoid viewpoint discrimination. (But) the fact that speech or viewpoint is unpopular does not exempt it from First Amendment protection. Indeed, the First Amendment protects unpopular, even some hateful speech. The message conveyed by this proposed license plate is subject to First Amendment Protection.
In other words, this decision opens the door wide for what I’m calling “hate plates” — specialty license tags espousing any and all forms of bigotry or bile. More likely, though, we’ll see every manner of mainstream advocacy group on the right and the left wanting to use specialty plates to boost their causes and notions.