Michigan: We're Protecting Kids From 'WAR SUX' Plate

State defends rejection of personalized license plate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2014 3:24 PM CST
Michigan: We're Protecting Kids From 'WAR SUX' Plate
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com   (Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)

Michigan rejected a Washtenaw County man's request for a personalized license plate reading "WAR SUX," and the state says it's all about protecting the children. David DeVarti, with the help of the ACLU, sued over the rejection, accusing officials of violating the First Amendment, but lawyers for the secretary of state's office have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Their reasoning, according to the court filing: Kids like to read license plates, and "WAR SUX" is an inappropriate message for them to read.

"Because vehicles often travel in residential neighborhoods, youth may be exposed to license plates from their yards or driveways," says an assistant attorney general. "Courts have often upheld legislation aimed at protecting the physical and emotional well-being of youth, even where First Amendment rights are concerned." She added that some schools and sports stadiums have banned T-shirts bearing the word "sucks," the Battle Creek Enquirer reports. Another plaintiff in the lawsuit was denied a plate reading "INF1DL," AOL reports. (More license plates stories.)

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