It’s offensive, but the court is right: the government can’t decide whether or not honoring the memories of rebels and slave owners belongs on a Texas license plate without violating the First Amendment.
A federal appeals panel ruled 2-1 that the Department of Motor Vehicles had violated the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ free speech rights and engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” when it rejected its specialty plate in 2011.
The judgment rekindled a loud debate among those who say the symbol honors Confederate heritage and others who see it as racially offensive and hurtful.
An attorney for the Texas chapter, John McConnell, said the ruling reaffirms that “the government cannot step into an issue and silence one side while endorsing the viewpoint of the other side.”
Nine other states have plates that honor the Confederate veterans (Florida is not one of them), and I’m sure the folks in Texas who want them will snatch them up. Good luck parking your car or truck in certain places, though; a plate like that basically says, “Hey, vandalize me!”