A Federal Judge has ruled that Florida should have approved the request of a group looking to honor a group of rebels who waged war against the United States in the name of slavery. U.S. District Judge John Antoon II ruled the state's specialty license plate law unconstitutional because by allowing legislators to chose which tags get approves limits free speech. Backers of a "Confederate Heritage" license plate may now move forward with trying to get the rebel flag stamped on plates. Is an Al-Queda plate next?
The Sons of Confederate Veterans went through all the procedures to apply for their plate, but the Florida Legislature denied the request, so they sued. Yes, a group that takes pride in a insurgency that was upset they couldn't keep other people as property is angry their basic rights were being trampled on.
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According to The Florida Tribune, U.S. District Judge John Antoon II ruled Wednesday that the process limited free speech because it allowed the legislators to pick and choose which points-of-view they wanted to see on license plates.
"Because specialty license plates are voluntary rather than compulsory, private individuals -- rather than the government -- choose which message, if any, they want to communicate," Antoon wrote.
Antoon stopped short of ordering the state to issue the license plate, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans will now try and get their plate on the road. Florida's specialty license plate program is currently closed to new designs, but groups who began the process before May 2008, like the Sons, can still apply for plates.