From Texas, A Supreme Court Case For Confederate Flag License Plates

From Texas, A Supreme Court Case For Confederate Flag License Plates

3:19pm Mar 20, 2015
This image provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shows the design of a proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. . (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles via AP)

There are more than 300 specialty plates in Texas, paying tribute to things like wild turkeys, Dr. Pepper and the fight against terrorism.

But when one group submitted a plate design with their logo — a Confederate flag — it was rejected by Texas officials. On Monday, the constitutionality of that rejection will be considered by the Supreme Court.

At issue is whether the license plates constitute government speech or an individual’s private speech.

“The concern on the part of states … is where does this end?” USA Today Supreme Court correspondent Richard Wolf tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. “If [they] have a license plate that says fight terrorism do [they] also need a license plate that says support al-Qaeda?”

Other state governments have filed amicus court briefs in support of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle’s decision.

“The governments say this is on a government license plate, we obviously have a stake in this game,” Wolf said. “We have final approval. And the other argument is, Well, that plate wouldn’t go anywhere if a private individual wasn’t going out of his driveway and driving around with it , so its the private individual who’s doing the talking.”

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