NC Courts Says No to Choose Life License Plates

Many states have found that they can make some extra money by charging more for specialty license plates.  Some plates bear the names, colors and logo of favorite college and professional sports teams.  Others are environmentally designed or promote education.  Some reflect a piece of local history or a state landmark.  When I lived in Arizona, I paid extra for an Arizona State University license plate with my last name JOLLY on it.  I still have the license plate as a keepsake.

In North Carolina, they have over 150 specialty license plates.  They range from sports to the Smoky Mountains to ‘Save the sea turtle.’  All of these have been approved by the state.  So when a group requested a specialty license plate that read ‘Choose Life’ they didn’t expect it to be a problem.  After all, if they had plates to save sea turtles, saving human babies should be okay also, right?

Not exactly!  The state legislature approved the ‘Choose Life’ license plate, but has voted against a plate reading ‘Respect Choice’ on several occasions.  This caused the abortion groups to take the issue to court.

Last week, the 4th US Circuit of Appeals cited that the First Amendment right to free speech requires that both sides on an issue be granted the equal rights of expression.  Since the legislature refused to approve the ‘Respect Choice’ plate, the ‘Choose Life’ plate was ruled unconstitutional.

Dr Mark Creech, Executive Director of the Christian Action League commented on the court’s ruling, saying:

“North Carolina has more than 150 specialty plates in our state including an Animal Lovers plate, a Save the Sea Turtles plate and Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains plate. Does this ruling mean lawmakers ought to have approved plates for Animal Haters, Kill the Sea Turtles, and Enemies of the Smokies? The ruling is absolutely absurd!  Sadly indicative of the injustice that predominates courts today.”

“Where in the First Amendment does it mandate every viewpoint be allowed equal representation? If this is really the case, why is religious expression so stringently regulated and even disallowed in the schools?  Why can’t Intelligent Design or Creationism be taught on human origins in our public schools? Why can’t we hang the Ten Commandments in our nation’s courtrooms? The pattern of the courts for several decades now has been to silence opposing viewpoints if those views don’t line up with the prevailing liberal ideology of the day.”

Speaking about earlier court rulings that promote childbirth, Creech stated:

“The Choose Life plate lines up perfectly with that goal, so we could correctly argue the state has a right, even an obligation, to adopt it as government speech.”

“Pro-abortion advocates had the same opportunity to lobby the North Carolina General Assembly as pro-life groups. For those eight or nine years when pro-life groups were seemingly getting nowhere with lawmakers on the Choose Life license plate legislation, where were the abortion folks? They could have been right there pushing for their own tag, but they waited until Choose Life was in the homestretch and then demanded the fruits of the pro-life camp’s labor.”

Now is the time for Christians to jump on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling to get creationism and other biblical teachings back in the public schools as Creech stated.  The judges opened the door for Christians to challenge many of the anti-Christian rulings that have been made by other courts and the Obama administration.  The court ruled that both sides of any issue deserves to be heard so Christians should be allowed to freely express that homosexuality is a sin without any form or repercussion.  The precedent has been set and now it needs to be used.