A federal judge in Danville Viriginia ruled today that Virginia can stop issuing Sons of the Confederate Veterans license plates as Governor McAuliffe ordered last month calling the plates “unnecessarily divisive and hurtful.” McAuliffe’s decision was opposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Federal Judge Jackson Kiser said he will issue a written order regarding the recall of the 1,700 Confederate license plates now in use in Virginia.
Deputy Attorney General Rhodes B. Ritenour argued that the plates are licensed and distributed by the state and therefore the state can control what the plates say and represent without violating the First Amendment. This opinion was re-enforce when the Supreme Court ruled in June that license plates in Texas were government speech and therefore could be controlled by the government.
Kirk D. Lyons, of The Southern Legal Resource Center in North Carolina, representing the Sons of the Confederacy, said they are likely to appeal the decision.
In a Quinnipiac Poll released on July 27th Virginians were equally divided on the issue, 46% of Virginians wanted the flag removed from the license plates and 45% thought it should be permitted.
More on the story here.