Choose Life license plate deemed unconstitutional in NC

Choose Life license plate deemed unconstitutional in NC

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A judge in North Carolina has halted production of a Choose Life license plate meant to promote adoption instead of abortion on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

Texas is one of 25 other states where the license plate can be found.

The state of Texas offers nearly 200 specialty plates. The Choose Life plate was added in the fall of 2011.

"I never mind sitting in traffic on I-35 because I'm educating someone behind me about the message, choose life," said Executive Director of the Texas Alliance for Life Joe Pojma, who has the plate on his car.

Since the plate was approved in the last legislative session, more than 1,000 drivers have bought it. The plate has already raised $22,000 to promote infant adoption as an alternative to abortion.

Just as the plate hits the one year mark in production, a u-s district court judge in North Carolina has ruled it unconstitutional. The judge cited the absence of the pro-choice plate--saying to only have one viewpoint is discrimination.

According to the ACLU, six amendments were proposed to authorize plates that read different variations of "respect choice." All were rejected.

Democratic strategist Jason Stanford said the judge is right, but his decision will not likely have an impact in Texas.

"It's tough to win that fight here in Texas," Stanford said.

Pojman said a local judge has already ruled in favor of keeping the Choose Life license plates.

"In our court of appeals, the 5th Circuit has already ruled and upheld the constitutionality of the Choose Life license plates for Louisiana and that also includes Texas and Mississippi," Pojman said.

According to the ACLU of Texas, attempts were made last session to make a more neutral plate, but those were also denied like in North Carolina.

"People ought to be able to chose a license plate that expresses their deeply held beliefs but lawmakers shouldn't favor one viewpoint over another," said Rebecca Robertson of the ALCU of Texas. "We hope that Texas lawmakers will look at this decision in North Carolina and make a license plates available to pro-choice Texans in the 2013 legislative session."

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