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Supreme Court Strike Down Texas Confederate Flag License Plates

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Texas Plate

In a tightly-voted ruling, the US Supreme Court has decided that the state of Texas can’t be forced to put the Confederate flag on license plates (which we have mentioned before in Georgia, and then again in Texas).

The flag in question is a part of the logo of a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Back in 2010, the group requested approval to put their group logo on special license plates, but after soliciting comments from the public, the DMV denied the application.

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The group sued. The first court to hear the case found in favor of Texas, and the appeals court found in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The US Supreme Court disagreed (barely). In a 5-4 vote, the court dictated that state governments have the right to pick and choose the messages that they place on license plates.

In the majority opinion of Justice Breyer, he wrote that state license plates are like state IDs, so are state speech.

“How could a state government effectively develop programs designed to encourage and provide vaccinations, if officials also had to voice the perspective of those who oppose this type of immunization?” he wrote, comparing this hypothetical situation to the Sons of Confederate Veterans trying to force the state of Texas to allow the license plates.

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The dissenting view written by Justice Alito had its own analogy, though: “If a car with a plate that says ‘Rather Be Golfing’ passed by at 8:30am on a Monday morning, would you think: ‘This is the official policy of the State—better to golf than to work?’”