Is the Confederate battle flag OK for a state-issued license plate?

ap63013542737_custom-01dd86d5f7c264dc0aaeaba8bd6cdf808d97c925-s700-c85The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday about whether the state of Texas should be required to issue special license plates with the Confederate battle flag, though observers say the justices seemed reluctant to push the state of Texas to sell license plates emblazoned with the divisive symbol that is that flag.

The plates were presented at the suggestion of the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

Is displaying the flag on state-issued articles an issue of freedom of speech? Not to this little hillbilly, it isn’t, and if you listen to this NPR story, you’ll not hear supporters of these license plates address the hate speech portion of this discussion. If you’re interested, this is a pretty good take on the topic, as well.

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  1. I’m happy to let them have their fun. Those plates help me know which cars and trucks to give a wide berth to.

    1. P.s. Has it occurred to anyone but me that “sons of Confederate Veterans” are way too old to still be driving?

        1. Had the same thought. So it’s not “Sons of” or even “Grandsons of” but rather “People Who Want to Wave This Dreadful Bit of History in Your Face.”

  2. Interesting case. Based on the descriptions of how Texas conducts its specialty plate business, and Denniston’s coverage of the oral argument, I expect a ruling in favor of the SCV.

        1. Knew that would get your attention. I am willing to bet $20 American that the Supreme Court says no to this license plate.

          1. Before I accept, (which I’m tempted to do outright), I’d be interested in knowing why you think the decision will go against the SCV.

            1. Because it’s the right decision, she said, haughtily. Actually, I don’t know why I think this is the way the Court will vote. Still wanna make a bet?

              1. You win.

                Texas’s specialty license plate designs constitute government speech, and thus Texas was entitled to refuse to issue plates featuring SCV’s proposed design.
                When government speaks, it is not barred by the Free Speech Clause from determining the content of what it says…a government’s ability to express itself is [generally] without restriction.
                BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which THOMAS, GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA and KENNEDY, JJ., joined.
                Text [PDF]

                I’ll…uh…get it to ya as soon as …possible? Just give me some notice before sending out the leg-breakers.

  3. Somebody ought to come up with a “Sons of Slaves” plate with a bloody logo. Think that would pass?

  4. Meanwhile…in Oklahoma…a person is denied a personalized license plate…LGBTALY…because the Oklahoma Tax Commission, who administers the program, deemed it “offensive to the general public.”

        1. The decision PROBABLY means that the person who wrote it is foisting his/her “religioujs” concerns onto the general public.

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