Thursday, August 18, 2016

Settlement Reached Permitting "8THEIST" License Plate In New Jersey

Last week, a New Jersey federal district court approved the parties' settlement agreement (full text) in Morgan v. Martinez.  In the case,  an atheist sued 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." Authorities had refused to issue Shannon Morgan a plate with the characters "8THEIST". Under the settlement, the Commission will issue Morgan the requested plate. The settlement also stipulates that a number of other specific alphanumeric combinations reflecting humanism, feminism and LGBT concerns are consistent with the Commission's regulations. The Commission also agreed to pay $75,000 in damages.  Americans United issued a press release discussing the settlement.