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Plate Shift

Shannon Morgan was merely trying to personalize her license plate to “8THEIST” when officials in New Jersey rejected it because they deemed it “objectionable."
 
The incident occurred in November 2013, and it took Morgan, a Leesburg, N.J., resident, by surprise. At the time, she thought the rejection was a technical problem, but it wasn’t. New Jersey officials’ reasoning was that an “8THEIST” plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

Americans United Settles Lawsuit Over License Plate Denial In N.J.

As this issue of Church & State went to press, a federal court signed off on a legal settlement that ends a lawsuit brought by Americans United on behalf of a New Jersey resident who was denied the right to receive a personalized license plate reading “8THEIST.”

AU filed the suit in April of 2014 on behalf of Shannon Morgan, a Leesburg, N.J., resident. Morgan applied for the specialty plate in November of 2013, only to have the application denied because it was deemed “objectionable.”

With AU’s Help, N.J. Woman’s Lawsuit Over License Plate Advances

A New Jersey woman who was denied a vanity license plate that reads “8THEIST” may proceed with her lawsuit, a federal court ruled recently.

In a suit filed by Americans United in April 2014 on behalf of Leesburg, N.J., resident Shannon Morgan, AU said the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission demeaned atheists, like Morgan, and favored religion over non-belief when it rejected the specialized plate.

Supreme Court Made The Wrong Call In Texas License Plate Case, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Decision Will Adversely Affect Religious Minorities And Non-Believers

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today that Texas is permitted to broadly control the messages on specialty license plates is disappointing, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Texas has a license plate program that allows private organizations to design specialty plates, subject to state approval. State officials refused to issue members of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans a plate depicting the Confederate flag on the ground that “many members of the general public find [it] offensive.”

You've Got (Hate) Mail!: South Carolina Lawsuit Sparks Barrage Of Correspondence From AU's Religious Right Friends

Along with ensuring religious liberty, the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. Thanks to the Internet, people can exercise their freedom of speech faster than ever, and Americans United heard from a bevy of them yesterday after we filed a lawsuit in South Carolina against the state's new "I Believe" license plate.

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