Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Christian license plates for SC, federal judge rules

And finally, the judge says NO.

South Carolina can't issue 'I Believe' tag, federal judge rules
By Tim Smith • Staff writer • November 10, 2009
Greenville News

COLUMBIA -- A federal judge today ordered the state to stop producing "I Believe" license plates, ruling the case is a "textbook example" of a constitutional prohibition of government endorsing a specific religion.

U.S. District Court Judge Cameron Currie, who issued a preliminary injunction against the plates in December, on Tuesday issued a permanent injunction, finding the legislation creating the plates violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution and its 14th Amendment.

She also singled out Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who pushed through the legislation.

"Whether motivated by sincerely held Christian beliefs or an effort to purchase political capital with religious coin, the result is the same," Currie wrote in her order. "The statute is clearly unconstitutional and defense of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation."
Here is my first blog post about this sordid debacle.

(I still think a bumper sticker would do just fine.)


CrackerLilo said...

I agree--what's so wrong with a bumper sticker, or ten if you feel that strongly? Nobody's censoring that.

Glad Judge Currie felt the same way. Of course, she's going to be branded as a hard-core Christ-hater. I guess those of us who agree with her need to send her nice notes of support or something.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Darn, I was looking forward to the proliferation of Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu/Animist/Wiccan/Secular Humanist/etc. license plates that the state would surely also issue ...

JoJo said...

I've seen plenty of religious bumperstickers and I really think that's the correct venue for people's religious beliefs, not license plates. My personal fave is "this car will be unmanned come the rapture" or something like that. I can't wait to have my pick of empty autos. ;p

I mean, it's a slippery slope. Every religion will then demand their own license plates. Can I get one w/ a Wiccan pentacle that says "Pagan Power"? Or a Darwin Fish that says, "I believe in Science"?

Daisy, I read your earlier post from Jan. and I can't tell what side you landed on, regarding this issue.

white rabbit said...

Oh dear, I don't know what I think of this (ok, I think the proposed plates are pretty naff but I don't know whether they should be banned or not).

Must be an american thing...

Actually, I suppose the answer is 'what's wrong with a bumper sticker'

Doc Anchovy said...

Darn it! I was hoping this would open the door to me getting vanity plates that read: "Send More Republicans, The First Ones Were Delicious."

Elizabeth McClung said...

I'm sorry, am I supposed to know what exactly I believe? Does it have to do with things that glow in the dark - that's what South Carolina seems to advocate: I Believe (that we have things which glow in the dark). Or was it something else?

Why not make it the state motto? Or is it already, then North Carolina can take another verb like, um, "I concurr" or "I declare"

I am trying to think what someone 10 or 1000 years from now would think (or someone not immersed in the sort of Gated Community of America culture). WWJD? Purity Ring! Does that make sense to you - does it mean you have a new ring tone? Will you know what it means in 5 years?

sheila said...

I agree too. Once you open the door to one thing, it allows everything else. I'm sure no none wants to see plates bearing the swastika.

And that's my 2 cents.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jojo, you can't tell? Oh, that's awful, thought I wrote better than that! :P

I agree with the ruling.