JACKSON, Miss. — If you are driving down a Mississippi road, odds are you may see a few license plates that have a cute drawing of two kids and above it reads “Choose Life.” This week, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled the license plates unconstitutional.
The reason, lawmakers in North Carolina approved the anti-abortion license plates, but turned down custom license plates on the other side of the issue, some reading “respect choice.” The court ruled the state was violating freedom of speech, favoring one view over the other.
“Mississippi’s tag is vulnerable to attack because we don’t have a pro-choice alternative; however, it is entirely possible that the Fifth Circuit could conclude that this is government speech and outside of the first amendment. It is just one of those cases where there are good arguments on both sides and the courts simply have to feel their way through it,” said Mississippi College Law Professor Matthew Steffey.
Mississippi has had the “Choose Life” license plates since 2002.