No matter where you stand on the issue of the Confederate Battle Flag, there is a problem when you can put a burger logo on your tag, but Texas says no to the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ logo because some might be offended. This means that, though every other state who was a member of the Confederacy has specialty tags for SCV members, this will not be allowed in Texas.
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Texas’ refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag, rejecting a free-speech challenge.
The court said in a 5-4 ruling that Texas can limit the content of license plates because they are state property and not the equivalent of bumper stickers.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sought a Texas plate bearing its logo with the battle flag. A state board rejected it over concerns that the license plate would offend many Texans.
So then the criterion for legality is now whether someone likes it or not? It is illegal if you might offend someone. This seems to be a very dangerous step. One can see the danger in this ruling when we consider that precedence rules in the U.S. court of law. So, what is next? It seems that personalized license plates are nothing more than a permeate bumper sticker. And the Circuit Court Judges agreed.
A panel of federal appeals court judges ruled that the board’s decision violated the group’s First Amendment rights. “We understand that some members of the public find the Confederate flag offensive. But that fact does not justify the board’s decision,” Judge Edward Prado of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans wrote.
What happens when people in Texas get offended by Scripture on someone’s car? What happens when they decide that shirts at public and state facilities cannot be offensive? The Supreme Court rules claims that there is a difference.
The Supreme Court has previously ruled that states can’t force drivers to display license plates that contain messages with which the drivers disagree, Breyer said. “And just as Texas cannot require SCV (the Sons of Confederate Veterans) to convey ‘the state’s ideological message,'” Breyer said, quoting from that earlier ruling, “SCV cannot force Texas to include a Confederate battle flag on its specialty license plates.”
But, the ruling was not unanimous and could have gone the other way. We see that when we are bound not by law, but by emotion, we lose our way. The supposed conservative Clarance Thomas ruled against the SCV. And had he ruled according to the Constitution rather than according to his understanding of history, the outcome would have been different.
Justice Samuel Alito said in dissent that the decision “threatens private speech that the government finds displeasing.”
As we have left God’s way, revealed in His Law, we find that the government continues to chip away our freedoms. We must return to God’s word before it is too late.
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