Judge halts ‘I Believe’ plates
They amount to state-sponsored religious preference, he rules
By RODDIE BURRIS - email@example.com
A federal judge Thursday ordered South Carolina to freeze plans to produce a special “I Believe” license plate, refund motorists who have prepaid for the plates and direct them to make a different selection.
The plates, designed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, bearing a gold cross and a stained-glass window with the words “I Believe” across the top, amount to state-sponsored religious preference, U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie ruled in Columbia.
“… The court … directs (the state) to take all actions necessary to preserve the status quo,” Currie ordered, pending further legal action
In legal briefs, AU asserted that the “I Believe” license plate was unlike other specialty tags offered by the state. The measure authorizing the special plates was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature, with the active support of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.
Americans United also pointed out that some legislators openly admitted that they would not vote for similar plates for minority faiths.
Asked by a reporter if he would support a license plate for Islam, Rep. Bill Sandifer replied, “Absolutely and positively no…. I would not because of my personal belief, and because I believe that wouldn’t be the wish of the majority of the constituency in this house district.”
Said AU Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan, “The ‘I Believe’ license plate sends the message that South Carolina has a favored religion. That’s one message the state is not permitted to transmit.”
Now let me run this story by people from a Native’s POV
A gentleman in government I believe slapped down $4,000.00 to get a run of “I believe” plates with a Christian cross.
The issue is that someone of another faith slapped down $4,000.00 of there own money they’d get ONE tag with there symbol but no text and it wouldn’t be a full production run like the Christian ones.
This would be promoting one faith over another and thus against the constitution.