Confederate flag license plate battle reaches U.S. Supreme Court


B00Mer
#1
Confederate flag license plate battle reaches U.S. Supreme Court



(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday takes up a free speech case on whether Texas was wrong in rejecting a specialty vehicle license plate displaying the Confederate flag - to some an emblem of Southern pride and to others a symbol of racism.

The nine justices will hear a one-hour oral argument in a case that raises the issue of how states can allow or reject politically divisive messages on license plates without violating free speech rights. States can generate revenue by allowing outside groups to propose specialty license plates that people then pay a fee to put on their vehicle.

The group Sons of Confederate Veterans says its aim is to preserve the "history and legacy" of soldiers who fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War. Its proposed design featured a Confederate battle flag surrounded by the words "Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896." The flag is a blue cross inlaid with white stars over a red background.

The group's Texas chapter said its members' free speech rights were violated when the state rejected the plate. Several other states have approved similar plates.

When Texas rejected the proposal in 2010, the state said it had received public comments that suggested "many members of the general public find the design offensive" in large part due to the Confederacy being synonymous with the institution of slavery.

A black Texas Democratic state senator, Royce West, said in 2011, "Ill-intended or not, why would African Americans want to be reminded of a legalized system of involuntary servitude, dehumanization, rape and mass murder?"

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas officials did not have grounds to reject the plate, prompting the state to seek high court review.

The legal issue is in part whether messages on state-issued license plates represent speech by the government or an endorsement of a private message. If determined to be private speech, the state's rejection could violate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment free speech guarantee.

Steven Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which backs the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said although the flag "served as a banner for those who supported slavery and segregation ... Texas cannot pick and choose the plates it approves on ideological grounds."

A ruling is expected by the end of June.

The case is Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-144.

source: Confederate flag license plate battle reaches U.S. Supreme Court | Reuters
 
Tecumsehsbones
#2
The state should not be allowed to pick and choose what speech it allows on its license plates. None at all or any one people want (within the law). Racists have rights too.
 
B00Mer
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

The state should not be allowed to pick and choose what speech it allows on its license plates. None at all or any one people want (within the law). Racists have rights too.

Isn't this really just a First Amendment, period??
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

Isn't this really just a First Amendment, period??

There's a more complex argument than that, but you wouldn't understand it, so I won't bother.
 
BaalsTears
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
Those who would silence disagreeable speech run the risk of being silenced themselves in the fullness of time.
 
B00Mer
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

There's a more complex argument than that, but you wouldn't understand it, so I won't bother.

You know your stupid petty insults sorta lay waste to your claim of being a Lawyer..

So please take your Tomahawk and shove it up your azz Tonto, because I'm pretty sure you're used to that, Shiny Pony.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

You know your stupid petty insults sorta lay waste to your claim of being a Lawyer..

So please take your Tomahawk and shove it up your azz Tonto, because I'm pretty sure you're used to that, Shiny Pony.

Yeah, but your response in the "A Rare Victory for Sense and Reason" thread proves that I'm absolutely right.

I also really don't care what you think. It affects my licensure and my income not in the slightest.
 
B00Mer
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Yeah, but your response in the "A Rare Victory for Sense and Reason" proves that I'm absolutely right.

Seems you can't hold an adult discussion with your childish insults, I guess I'll play the same way.. seems that all you can relate to, is trolling.

Go to the grocery store and pick yourself up a carton of eggs, it seems you're missing a pair.

Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

I also really don't care what you think. It affects my licensure and my income not in the slightest.

If you don't care what I think, why did you reply.. did I hurt your poor wittle feelings..

Later Tonto.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

If you don't care what I think, why did you reply..

Because I enjoy taunting belligerent imbeciles. I suppose that's a flaw, but I'm surprisingly OK with it.
 
BaalsTears
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

You know your stupid petty insults sorta lay waste to your claim of being a Lawyer..
...

Boomer's accusation is made.

Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Yeah...

TB has either made an admission or is a sloppy writer.


Quote:

It affects my licensure and my income not in the slightest.

Licensure? That's the way licensed cosmetologists or real estate brokers talk. Attorneys don't talk like that. They think of themselves as devotees in an exalted priesthood, not as mere licensees.

Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Because I enjoy taunting belligerent imbeciles. I suppose that's a flaw, but I'm surprisingly OK with it.

I know what you mean. I like to kill small animals in order to see the light go out in their eyes. I suppose that's a flaw, but I'm surprisingly OK with it. We have a lot in common.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#11
Here's a pretty good summary of the arguments. It's an op-ed piece, so agree or disagree with the writer as you please. He sums up the arguments quite well.

The fight over Confederate license plates





A sample of the proposed Texas plate before the Supreme Court this week. ( Texas Department of Motor Vehicles /Associated Press)
By Charles Lane Opinion writer March 25 at 8:06 PM
The right to free speech means nothing if not the right to express ideas that other people might find offensive. Protecting the exercise of that right is essential to democratic government, as the world was reminded, horrifically, by the mass murder of Muhammad-mocking cartoonists at France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine in January.
Whether, and under what circumstances, the government might be obligated to foster or facilitate potentially offensive speech is a much different question, with which the Supreme Court is currently wrestling, apropos a most un-French context: the rear ends of Texas gas-guzzlers.
Charles Lane is a Post editorial writer, specializing in economic policy, federal fiscal issues and business, and a contributor to the PostPartisan blog. View Archive

Like many other states, Texas allows motorists who pay a fee to display special designs on their license plates. Some of these messages are created by the state legislature; others by private groups, subject to pre-approval by the state Motor Vehicles Board. The program generated $25 million between 2009 and 2014. Most designs honor colleges or military veterans and win easy authorization.
Yet when the Sons of the Confederacy asked to stamp the Confederate battle flag on Texas’s tags in 2011, the board refused, citing protests from African Americans and others who saw the flag, justifiably, as a symbol of slavery and secession.
Then-Gov. Rick Perry opposed the design, too: “We don’t need to be scraping old wounds,” he said. At the time, he was seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and coping with fallout from a Post article noting that his family once owned a hunting camp nicknamed with a racial slur.

So the Sons of the Confederacy went to court, where Texas argued that its law empowering the board to bar “offensive” messages is perfectly constitutional. The tags are state property and therefore a means of “government speech,” Texas argued; the Supreme Court has said governments have a right to get their messages out clearly and freely, just as individuals do.
A New Orleans-based federal appeals court sided with the Sons, though, ruling that a reasonable observer would associate the flag with the motorist, not the state.


Texas appealed, and in oral arguments Monday, the justices quickly identified the essential problem with its case. Permitting the board to ban “offensive” designs gives it “too broad a discretion,” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it. It smacks of “viewpoint discrimination,” which is not allowed in state-established public forums.
Once a government opens up its license plates to private organizations’ messages, including, as in Texas, political slogans such as “Fight Terrorism,” it’s hard to draw the line at the Confederate flag, or any symbol — doubly so in a state that commemorates Confederate Heroes Day on Jan. 19.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, it seems, including the contradictions. Still, the justices also seemed hesitant to force the state to allow any conceivable message on its license plates.
Again, it was Ginsburg who cut to the chase, asking the Sons of the Confederacy’s lawyer whether local Nazis have a right to slap swastikas on their tags. “Yes,” he responded forthrightly but unsettlingly.
The trouble here, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted, is that a license plate — owned by the government and manufactured under government auspices but displayed by a private individual on private property — is “hybrid speech. It’s both government and the individual speaking at the same time.”

And it’s hard to devise a constitutional rule that would protect the legitimate interests of both consistently. At least no court has managed to do so yet.
One option, discussed in court Monday, is to consider license-plate messages to be government speech, as long as the available messages result from an act of the state legislature — not a bureaucratic process like Texas’s.
Alas, federal judges have had difficulty crafting such a standard in the context of “Choose Life” tags — the ones with simulated drawings of smiling children. Innocuous to the naked eye, they are promoted by anti-abortion groups and have thus triggered repeated lawsuits from abortion rights advocates.
One appeals court did approve Tennessee’s “Choose Life” tags as legislatively authorized and, therefore, government speech. But another said South Carolina’s “Choose Life” tags, also legislatively enacted, still amounted to viewpoint discrimination because the legislature didn’t offer a pro-choice alternative.


The only clear, consistent rule would be: States must either throw open their specialty-tag programs to all comers, from Daughters of the American Revolution to Citizens for Jihad, or eliminate them.
This would not only simplify free-speech law but also strike a small blow for transparent government. As Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Monday, Texas is “only doing this to get the money.” He might have added: “Without raising taxes.”
Yet if this case proves anything, it’s that a specialty tag program is no free lunch, just a smarter-than-usual fiscal gimmick. The next time a governor brags about how much his state’s program has raised, ask him if he counted litigation costs.





The fight over Confederate license plates - The Washington Post

All I know is that if the Sons of Racist Traitors wins this one, I'm gonna put in for a "F*ck Her Right in the P*ssy" license plate.
 
Cannuck
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

Seems you can't hold an adult discussion with your childish insults, ....

...says the guy that's called people "gay" when he's disagreed with them.

Here's an idea. Why doesn't Texas invest a little in their education system. Seems to me, if they got rid of the stupid people the confederate flag issue would disappear on its own.
Last edited by Cannuck; Mar 26th, 2015 at 07:58 AM..
 
55Mercury
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

...says the guy that's called people "gay" when he's disagreed with them.

Here's an idea. Why doesn't Texas invest a little in their education system. Seems to me, if they got rid of the stupid people the confederate flag issue would disappear on its own.

so.. concentration camps for stupid people?

I'd be okay with that, but damn, they keep raising the bar on stupidity!
 
Tecumsehsbones
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by 55Mercury View Post

so.. concentration camps for stupid people?

Works for me.

Quote:

I'd be okay with that, but damn, they keep raising the bar on stupidity!

Wait. . . raising or lowering?
 
B00Mer
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

...says the guy that's called people "gay" when he's disagreed with them.

Do Gay people offend you?? So being called Gay would be an insult to you??

Tim McGraw - Back When. W/ Lyrics - YouTube
 
Cannuck
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

Do Gay people offend you??

No but they obviously bother you. That's why you use the term as a slur.
 
55Mercury
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Works for me.


Wait. . . raising or lowering?

I'm not falling for that!

ya think I'm stoopid er sumpm?

Quote: Originally Posted by 55Mercury View Post

I'm not falling for that!

ya think I'm stoopid er sumpm?

wait... don't answer that
 
B00Mer
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

No but they obviously bother you. That's why you use the term as a slur.

You can catch more flies with Molasses than with Vinegar.

 
55Mercury
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

You can catch more flies with Molasses than with Vinegar.

you trollin with yer dick out agin?

Quote: Originally Posted by 55Mercury View Post

you trollin with yer dick out agin?

just

don't
 
B00Mer
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by 55Mercury View Post

you trollin with yer dick out agin?

Why are you look'in at my dick?
 

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