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« Right to Work Passes in Michigan | Main | Nature's Karma Open »
Monday
Dec102012

Free Speech is Overrated ...Or Something

Photo Courtesy of the ACLUIt's amazing what passes as a "great victory for the free speech rights" in the ACLU nowadays:

RALEIGH, N.C. – A federal judge has ruled it is unconstitutional for North Carolina to issue pro-life license plates unless the state offers similar plates supporting abortion rights.

U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox ruled on Friday that North Carolina cannot produce or distribute the “Choose Life” plate.

Judge Fox concluded, “The State’s offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice plate constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Sept. 2011 on behalf of North Carolinians seeking a specialty license plate that supports a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.

“This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU-NCLF.

Brook said the government cannot create an avenue to express one side of a political issue while denying an equal opportunity to citizens with an opposing view.

No idiot (i.e. Chris Brooks), you and the ACLU just doubled down on denying one of their freedom of speech, something you guys supposedly claim to fight for (provided it falls within their political ideology).   This is only a victory if you were fighting to protect their free speech and won.   Instead you fought to silence all sides out of fairness.   If protecting free speech was your goal they failed miserably, however I highly doubt that was Chris Brooks and the ACLU's true intentions.   They would rather negotiate one groups' free speech rights to appease anothers' ideology.  

The left couldn't get the pro-abortion plates they wanted approved by the state, so instead they compromised another groups' rights by fighting to block existing license plates that are already available to the general public, just not in North Carolina now... thanks to Brooks and the ACLU.   Choose Life specialty plates are still available in various other states (for now).

This could only be considered a "victory" if you were cursed with zero athletic ability, played on a losing team that stunk every time they tried and viewed that participation trophy you got at the end of the year simply for putting on your uniform and showing up on gameday the equivelant of "finishing first".

What target that offends liberals will be next?  God Bless America plates?  There's numerous states that have those.  How about Don't Tread on Me plates?   We can't have those without plates spouting a pro-Socialism stance, can we?

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Reader Comments (56)

This is only a victory if you were fighting to protect their free speech and won. Instead you fought to silence all sides out of fairness.

Uh, I don’t think so Skinny. That’s now up to the state of North Carolina. They can choose to allow all a variety of viewpoints or they can exit from the business of manufacturing license plates emblazoned with controversial viewpoints.

December 10, 2012 at 14:39 | Registered CommenterWinston

All variety of viewpoints? Gotta love that. Since there are plates in support of children's welfare, I can't wait for ACLU-approved plates in support of NAMBLA.

Ooo, wait! How's about "Support your local police" and the counterpoint of "Cop killers need love too."

Come on, ACLU. Let's get this deal rolling.

December 10, 2012 at 17:45 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Since your fallback position is to liken demonstrably popular public positions (reproductive choice) to grossly unpopular ones that claim only demonstrably tiny numbers of adherents, maybe the best alternative is for state license plate stampers to get out of the viewpoint dissemination business altogether. Works for me.

December 10, 2012 at 19:00 | Registered CommenterWinston

Uh, I don’t think so Skinny. That’s now up to the state of North Carolina.

Well, Winspin, it's good to see that you recognize State's rignts, but that's hardly relative to this situation. Free speech is a 1st Amendment issue not a North Carolina issue.

...maybe the best alternative is for state license plate stampers to get out of the viewpoint dissemination business altogether.

Which entirely contradicts your original state's rights point.

December 10, 2012 at 20:26 | Registered CommenterGrayRider

The article you linked to says that the North Carolina legislature explicitly denied license plates with an opposing viewpoint....

During the 2011 legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 289, which authorized the issuance of a “Choose Life” license plate.

However, officials say the legislature repeatedly refused to authorize a plate that supported the countervailing position in favor of reproductive freedom.

Six amendments were proposed in the legislature to authorize an additional new plate that stated either, “Trust Women. Respect Choice,” or simply “Respect Choice.” The legislature rejected all six amendments.

In any case, why do we need license plate with partisan political slogans on them? Is this for people who can't afford bumper stickers?

December 10, 2012 at 21:14 | Registered Commenterkwawk

In any case, why do we need license plate with partisan political slogans on them?

Exactly. Just put the state motto on the plate and be done with it.

December 10, 2012 at 21:35 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Sounds like the OP has a fundamental misunderstanding of the first Amendment and Establishment Clause.

December 11, 2012 at 01:25 | Registered CommenterChoy Lee Mu

Sounds like Choy Lee Mu has a fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause.

December 11, 2012 at 06:16 | Unregistered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

D/P

December 11, 2012 at 06:17 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

D/P

December 11, 2012 at 06:18 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

In any case, why do we need license plate with partisan political slogans on them? Is this for people who can't afford bumper stickers?

Don't worry. The ACLU will be along to file a lawsuit against bumper stickers that might offend someone.

December 11, 2012 at 06:53 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Case in point might be the Gadsden flag decal in the back window of my pickup.

But then, I do get a lot of thumbs-up responses and no negatives. I must assume that is because the Obama Ignoramus Club members have no friggin' idea what it means. Historical ignorance is, after all, one of the cornerstones of the leftist agenda for what they laughingly call education.

December 11, 2012 at 09:17 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

What target that offends liberals will be next? God Bless America plates? There's numerous states that have those. How about Don't Tread on Me plates? We can't have those without plates spouting a pro-Socialism stance, can we?

I object to the first and not the second. The god stuff has no place on any state or federal property(because of the Establishment Clause). The "Don't Tread on Me" plates are just in bad taste. Nothing illegal about that.

December 11, 2012 at 09:28 | Registered CommenterChoy Lee Mu

I must assume that is because the Obama Ignoramus Club members have no friggin' idea what it means.

That's right, Redneck, the great historical juju of your truck decal is just a mysterious puzzle to us.

Jesus Christ Almighty, do these angry, deluded, self-infatuated nitwits even KNOW any normal people?

December 11, 2012 at 09:29 | Registered CommenterWinston

Winston, what the ACLU should have been doing was fighting to allow the pro-abortion and not fighting to silence another groups right to display what they PAID EXTRA for (and let me remind Kwawk that those personalized plates are generally far more expensive than any bumper stickers).

It's better to fight for what you believe and lose than betray those very fundamentals you claim to uphold and protect for a political agenda... and this was indeed a political agenda.

December 11, 2012 at 09:40 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

Why, no. No. They don't.

December 11, 2012 at 09:44 | Registered CommenterWinston

Only an unredeemable wingnut thinks some genuine far-reaching free speech principle is implicated in being able to publicly display one’s opinion on social issues on one’s vehicle license plate. I’d be hard pressed to imagine a less consequential “right.” If North Carolina legislators insist on so blatantly discriminating on behalf of one viewpoint and against another, I’ve no problem whatsoever with federal judges shutting the whole silly business down and mercilessly oppressing American drivers by limiting their expressions to affixing baffling decals to their pickup trucks.

And Skinny, if you want to advise the ACLU on how it should conduct its litigation, perhaps you should join. It’s open to all Constitution-supporting Americans.

December 11, 2012 at 09:58 | Registered CommenterWinston

Jesus Christ Almighty, do these angry, deluded, self-infatuated nitwits even KNOW any normal people?

If there was any more projection going on with this statement, I'd fly winnie to Cannes and try to land a distribution deal.

People just ADORE a good comedy.

December 11, 2012 at 10:00 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

Only an unredeemable wingnut thinks some genuine far-reaching free speech principle is implicated in being able to publicly display one’s opinion on social issues on one’s vehicle license plate.

Only an unredeemable libtard thinks some genuine far-reaching free speech principle is implicated inherent [try using the correct word, genius] in being able to publicly urinate on a police car.

Douchebaggery

December 11, 2012 at 10:04 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

From the illustrious Choy/Brent:

The "Don't Tread on Me" plates are just in bad taste.

Hmmm.... a U.S. flag is in bad taste... interesting. Does that odd take arise from the previously mentioned wholesale ignorance of history, or from a typical leftist distain for the principles that founded this country?

December 11, 2012 at 10:14 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Does that odd take arise from the previously mentioned wholesale ignorance of history, or from a typical leftist distain for the principles that founded this country?

C) All of the above

December 11, 2012 at 10:21 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

Only an unredeemable wingnut thinks some genuine far-reaching free speech principle is implicated in being able to publicly display one’s opinion on social issues on one’s vehicle license plate.

Which is really, really funny considering leftists didn't have a problem promoting a social issue like abortion when they kept trying to get it approved for plates.

(How many times? 6 times?)

December 11, 2012 at 10:24 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

Skinny - If a bumper sticker can get your message across and it's cheaper, then bonus you can get your point across, save money, and your free speech rights haven't been violated.

Again the question begs to be asked, why do we need to turn government issued license plates into divisive political symbols?

Are we really so devoid of opportunities to express our opinions that we need to turn something as license plates into this?

December 11, 2012 at 10:45 | Unregistered Commenterkwawk

Which is really, really funny considering leftists didn't have a problem promoting a social issue like abortion when they kept trying to get it approved for plates.
(How many times? 6 times?)

By my reading, they weren’t “promoting” so much as seeking equal time in response to the antichoicers’ initiative. If they were promoting this new rather than just reacting, I’d agree with you—it’s silly and a thorough waste of time. But pretty clearly North Carolina can’t create a state-sanctioned venue for the expression of one viewpoint which is blocked to the expression of others. I don’t really get what you find in the least bit controversial about this ruling. This is dumb stuff. First Amendment 101.

One aspect you leave unmentioned is that the extra cost of the plates was to be diverted to subsidize "Crisis Pregnancy Centers." So would you feel any differently if the state designated the extra cost of "Respect Choice" or "Trust Women" plates to support Planned Parenthood?

The whole business is really dumbass from the get-go. Use bumper stickers. It doesn't involve the state.

December 11, 2012 at 11:04 | Registered CommenterWinston

what the ACLU should have been doing was fighting to allow the pro-abortion and not fighting to silence another groups right to display what they PAID EXTRA for

Skinny, you’re operating under a very fundamental misunderstanding here.That's just not how the judicial-legislative relationship works. It’s not a Court’s place to command a legislature to pass particular legislation. The most a Court can do is say, “You know that legislation you passed? Well, it doesn’t conform with the Constitution. We’re invalidating it.” With the implication: try again.

December 11, 2012 at 11:12 | Registered CommenterWinston

"Democratic lawmakers have joined with Republicans in raising alarm about a looming ObamaCare-tied tax on medical devices, saying the additional tax is causing "uncertainty and confusion for businesses" and should be delayed."

Sorry, it’s your bag of shit dems. For two years, one SC ruling and now a second Obama term Republicans have been saying this was the worst piece of legislation out of D.C. in eighty years. Now that states won't set-up the health exchanges and dems are getting heat for the terrible business taxes this POS legislation brings forth, now dems want help with correcting Obamacare. Too bad, he's your President. Live with the abysmal effects of his administration. The rest of us are.

December 11, 2012 at 11:36 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

It’s not a Court’s place to command a legislature to pass particular legislation.

It was okay when it was gay marriage. Why stop now?

December 11, 2012 at 12:39 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

"Choose Death"

Now that is a plate I want to own. :-)

December 11, 2012 at 12:45 | Registered CommenterTijuana

"Too bad, he's your President."
It's refreshing and clarifying that wingnuts are finally explicitly setting themselves outside the American mainstream family. They have no interest in the President or indeed the nation succeeding. Their national loyalty and patriotism evaporated when the electorate decisively rejected their bullshit and repulsive values. All they can do is snarl, curse, and rage.

December 11, 2012 at 12:52 | Unregistered CommenterWinston

I have to agree with Winston and Kwawk on this one. Utilizing the apparatus of of government (state-issued license plates) to express your personal views isn't a free speech issue, and is just an invitation for those with opposing views to use government to squash you. Better to stick with a bumper sticker.

December 11, 2012 at 12:59 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Mach, if I could believe for one moment that Winnie's motives (and those of the ACLU and the federal judge in question) are philosophically pure, I could agree. But the only reason lefties oppose current plate messages is that they disagree with what some of them say. If the messages were all about leftie causes, we wouldn't be hearing a peep from anyone on the left.

As for me, stepping back a bit from the emotions, I'll take your view that bumper stickers are far better than a state getting involved, on any level, with political/social issues expressed on government-issued plates. It really is getting silly here in Florida, with license plates (or "tags" if you're a native) being issued for a hundred different issues. I guess the DMV bureaucrats haven't enough real work to do. Ironic, ain't it, that doing away with all the custom plates would cut into the employment of the left's favorite protected class, government workers.

December 11, 2012 at 13:30 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

"rejected their bullshit and repulsive values"

Like???

Lower and fewer taxes??? tha's bullshit??

Fewer (not no) regulations on businesses that create jobs?? tha's bullshit??

Limitations on abortion rights?? tha's bullshit??

The recognition that only one man and one woman should be joined in "Holy" matrimony, a tradition that is only a few thousand years old?? tha's bullshit??

A desire to tap into our own abundant energy resources?? tha's bullshit??

You might disagree with everything I believe in and stand for windy, but bullshit??

"All they can do is snarl, curse, and rage"

And who does that more than you?? I mean, really! C'mon windy, get real. DUDE!

Sheeeez, why do I even bother? I dunno. The Spirit of Christ-mas I reckon.

BTW, the American mainstream family is no longer a family. Traditional Families as they used to exist have disintegrated under the need for both parents to work, babies born out of wedlock to single women, drug and alcohol abuse, men and women who screw in the most unnatural ways screaming for the right to marry and raise children, television shows and movies that put sex, foul language, violence and homosexuality on regular display in prime time, parents living on the dole and a host of other spiritually and morally depraved behaviors (as I see them) that have come to be excepted as, what you call, mainstream.

But you are right, now that I have written that, thank God there are some few of us left who are still (or are desperately trying to live) outside the "mainstream."

I guess it's all in that "frame of reference" thing.

December 11, 2012 at 13:55 | Registered CommenterTijuana

18 Senator Demwits seem to regret Obamacare, want a do-over. Sorry, this POS legislation is yours lock, stock and barrell. Live with it.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/MedDeviceLetter12102012.pdf

December 11, 2012 at 16:45 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

T, that was well said.

December 12, 2012 at 06:45 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Tom, that letter is interesting. It's as though those Dem boneheads are admitting that Madam Pelosi was right, and no one would know what was in the stinking bill until it was passed. Malfeasance of office, admitted in writing.

December 12, 2012 at 06:47 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

And of course, speaking of free speech...

The Pope sends his first tweet, and the left responds with the "new civility."

I'm beginning to think this "new tone" bullshit is defined as, "shut the f*ck up while I repeatedly kick you in the balls."

I don't think bumper stickers are going to be any more acceptable to these c*ckholsters than license plates, which at least have the added benefit of helping the states pay their debts. Shit, "you'd think they'd at least thank [us]."

December 12, 2012 at 08:18 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

We used to have an actual cultured society as the standard. Now we have this sort of tweeting filth as the new normal. The left must be just ever-so-proud.

December 12, 2012 at 08:30 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Holy shit @ the Pope tweets (although not unexpected)

December 12, 2012 at 08:47 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

Speaking of teh Twitter...

Anyone else besides skinny and me spew on that? Red? Mach? TM?

I'd ask kwack, winnie the cat and la choy,, but until they can figure out this whole, "food - air" deal, I'm hesitant to complicate their lives with anything more challenging then, say, heating up a Pop-Tart.

Besides, there's enough ignorant progtard hypocrisy on Twitter as it is.

My own spew can be found here.

December 12, 2012 at 09:15 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

I've never tweeted. Sounds kinky, though.

December 12, 2012 at 09:23 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

I'll show you my twitter if you show me yours.

December 12, 2012 at 09:24 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

"T, that was well said."

Thanx RB.

December 12, 2012 at 09:28 | Registered CommenterTijuana

I'll show you my twitter if you show me yours.

We already follow each other, dude. Have another cup of coffee...

December 12, 2012 at 09:32 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

I don't want to see anyone's twitter. I get enough of that when I channel-surf past a "reality" TV show.

December 12, 2012 at 09:37 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

I don't buy enough minutes on my phone to tweet. Thank God.

I am registered over at the "Twitter" site and get regular emails for posts that have been made their but rarely click on the link or visit the site.

Considering the numbers of people who tweet I reckon there must be something quite entertaining and useful about it but I am really not interested in finding out. I haven't noticed any problems thus far in my daily life while living without it. :-)

December 12, 2012 at 09:38 | Registered CommenterTijuana

TM - Nowhere in your article does it say that wages in RTW states are higher than in non-RTW states, it simply said that wage growth was higher during their selected period. It would seem obvious that if RTW states indeed had higher wages then the article would have stated so.

The whole point of RTW is not to create better jobs, it is to create a better environment for capital. The whole purpose of this type of legislation is to prevent collective bargaining so that workers can't demand a higher share of the company income.

MSM - I think DA is TM's shorthand for Dumb Ass, but I'm just guessing. In any case does the teamster fight have to be in the 312 or can it be in the 773 or 847?

December 12, 2012 at 12:08 | Registered Commenterkwawk

The whole point of RTW is not to create better jobs, it is to create a better environment for capital. The whole purpose of this type of legislation is to prevent collective bargaining so that workers can't demand a higher share of the company income.

If any of my employees want to ask for higher wages, they are free to do so. I listen, and respond, because I have to pay fair compensation, or I won't have any employees. But what they are not free to do is to demand a share of company income, as you put it, income to which they are not entitled and that they have not earned.

I started this company in 1990, in my garage, with no employees, a very few lousy dollars from savings, and high hopes. Whatever capital I now have is what I earned, so yes, I like having a good environment for my capital. My capital. Get it? It's not my employees' capital. It's mine.

Do you have equity in a house, kwAwk? A car? Do you have savings? An IRA? Then you have capital that is yours alone. You paid into those assets, and you alone have rights to that equity. How would you like it if laws were passed deeming it acceptable for Joe Blow on the street to demand that you share your equity with him? Not so great a plan when it hits home, is it?

December 12, 2012 at 14:02 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

We already follow each other, dude. Have another cup of coffee...

lol, I was talking to RB... I've already seen your twitter... but once you see one you wanna see em all... kinda like boobs.

December 12, 2012 at 14:25 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

You can tweet boobs?

December 12, 2012 at 15:29 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

You can tweet boobs?

I can tweak em, just not sure about tweeting em.

December 12, 2012 at 15:57 | Registered CommenterMy Sharia Moor

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