In a victory for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court today reversed a lower court decision striking down Choose Life license plates in North Carolina. Legislators in the Tar Heel State had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that barred the state from issuing “Choose Life” license plates.
Attorneys for Thom Tillis, speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, asked the High Court to determine whether a 2011 law creating the specialty license plate is constitutional.
“State governments have a right to advance messages consistent with their public policies,” said Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “The Supreme Court has already affirmed that right. North Carolinians support protecting life and helping pregnant women in need; the First Amendment does not require the state to bow to demands that it censor the ‘Choose Life’ message.”
“Across the country, groups like the ACLU have tried to use the high court’s First Amendment speech cases to censor government expression,” Elon University School of Law Professor Scott Gaylord added. “Such efforts are not only inconsistent with the purpose of the First Amendment, but also with the Supreme Court’s government speech precedents.”