Court rejects 'Choose Life' plates case

Jan. 24, 2005 at 10:50 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to overturn a lower-court ruling that struck down South Carolina's "Choose Life" license plate program.

A 2001 state law authorized the issuance of the plates in exchange for a $70 biennial fee. The law provided the proceeds from the sale of the "Choose Life" plates, after costs, would go to "local crisis pregnancy programs."

However, the proceeds, by law, could not be awarded to any facility or group "that provides, promotes or refers to abortion."

Planned Parenthood sued the state in federal court shortly after the program went into effect. The suit said the state program engaged in unconstitutional "viewpoint discrimination."

A federal judge ruled for Planned Parenthood in December 2002, and a divided federal appeals court panel upheld the judge.

The state then asked the Supreme Court for review, which was denied Monday without comment.

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