Thursday, May 14, 2015

Challenge To Refusal of "8THEIST" Vanity Plate May Proceed

In Morgan v. Martinez, (D NJ, May 12, 2015), an atheist seeking to express her beliefs sued the head of the New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission challenging provisions in state regulations barring issuance of personalized license plates with letters or numbers"that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency."  Until plaintiff Shannon Morgan filed suit, the VMC refused to issue her a plate with the characters "8THEIST". The court held that Morgan has standing to bring the suit and refused to dismiss on the merits, concluding that she Morgan adequately stated claims of facial overbreadth, vagueness that encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, and prior restraint.