505 The Question Is... Vanity plates.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

A New Hampshire man who last year changed his name to "Human" has gone to the state supreme court to defend his right to a vanity plate that says COPSLIE.

The man, an unemployed accountant, made his request for the COPSLIE vanity plate in 2010, but was instead given one bearing his alternative choice of GR8GOVT.

New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Richard Head, who argued on behalf of the DMV at the hearing, said the agency was within its authority to deny the vanity plate request.

The Division of Motor Vehicles has a regulation which prohibits vanity plates containing messages which the DMV believes a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste.

"The primary purpose of a plate is to identify motor vehicles, not to engage in public debate," he said in a phone interview.

"A statement against an individual would be defamatory. In this case the plate would have insulted an entire class of workers," he added.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union has sided with Human. It called the DMV's standard on vanity plates "unconstitutionally vague, overbroad, and viewpoint discriminatory," according to court filings.

The Question Is....

Does an individual have right to say anything he wants on a license plate?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

If you were the judge in this case, how would you look upon this case? Does the First Amendment allow us to say anything, anywhere, at any time? If so, would this kind of stuff be okay?













Or the ones I'd like to see that ACLU lawyer argue for.












...and up to H8CLU99

...after which we would go from 1H8ACLU to 9H8ACLU

...and then 10H8CLU to 99H8CLU

...and PLZH8CLU

...and another hundred or so I could think of, such as:




...not to mention the obvious insult that would immediately appear on a license plate if COPSLIE were allowed.


...and a hundred more like it.

...and the most obvious one of all.


Please note that the plates above are not serious suggestions; they are examples of things I would instantly ban on a license plate if that were my job. Why? Because the state has the absolute authority, as well as the absolute responsibility, to control what goes on license plates whose purpose is to identity vehicles, not to create roving billboards dedicated to bad taste. If the state decides to allow people to choose their own identification plates, it obviously has the authority to limit what those plates may say.


Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

If any thing is done about license plates they should be put on the front of a car too, as they were many years ago. If an officer is looking for a car by a license number, how does he see the number if he meets it instead of coming up behind it? Law makers are stupid!!!!!


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree, Pat. Having a license plate front and back just makes good sense. I suppose they quit doing it to "save money." Question is: Where did the savings go? I your pocket or that of someone in the government?


Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

The price of license plates didn't go down any. Prisoners at Florence were making them. The labor cost wasn't very high.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how it ever became traditional to make license plates in a prison?


Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

A long time ago the prison at Florence was self supporting. They had a farm, dairy and did the cooking and cleaning of the prison and grounds. Now they sit in their cells, watch TV or go to the library and study how to be an attorney when they get out. No farm, no dairy and cleaning and cooking is done by outside people which are paid a good wage. I believe this is right, I haven't checked in awhile.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

We have four problems:

  1. It is now a profitable business to put people in prison.

  2. The sentencing laws are insane.

  3. There are people who are trying to make the world as perfect as they are by forcing everyone do what they think is right.

  4. Crooked politicians don't care where money comes from.

What's next? We already have laws that are contrary to the First Amendment, laws that say that you go to prison for a longer time if you commit some offense and someone says it was a "hate" crime. Obviously that's unconstitutional because you are being punished for doing something that reflects your opinion. If you do something to someone else you should be imprisoned for what you did, not for the reason why you did it. Your right to dislike someone is constitutionally protected; your right to harm that person isn't.

Next they'll start putting us in prison for thinking or saying anything they don't agree with.

They'll no doubt call a person they jail for having wrong ideas an "enemy of the people."


That has a familiar sound. I wonder where I heard it before?


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