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'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   |   April 18, 2014 at 7:44 PM   |   Comments

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.

[NJ.com]

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