'8THEIST' license plate rejection violates First Amendment, woman says

Woman says New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website wouldn't allow her to request a license plate reading "8THEIST," but did allow one reading "BAPTIST."
By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |   April 18, 2014 at 7:44 PM

MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP, N.J., April 18 (UPI) -- A New Jersey woman filed a lawsuit against the state Motor Vehicle Commission saying its rejection of her request for a vanity plate that reads "8THEIST" is a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Shannon Morgan said the her license plate of choice was rejected on the commission's website as offensive, even though a license plate reading "BAPTIST" was allowed.

“There is nothing offensive about being atheist,” Morgan said. “I should be able to express my sincerely held beliefs with a license plate just like everyone else.”
“She believes that the commission’s decision to deny her a plate that reads '8THEIST' but to allow her one that reads 'BAPTIST' expresses a preference for theistic religious belief over non-theistic belief,” the lawsuit says.

“We review every request personally ... and we review them for anything that’s offensive of objectionable,” said Sandy Grossman, a spokesperson for the Motor Vehicle Commission.


Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'