Washington Times has a great article on specialty license plates with a great shout out for TN. I agree we have the best looking license plate. CHOOSE LIFE.
KNIGHT: Free speech? Put a plate on it
Tennessee also found itself in court over “Choose Life” plates in 2004 in ACLU of Tennessee v. Bredesen. In 2006, the 6th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court ruling against the state, saying, “Government can express public policy views by enlisting private volunteers to disseminate its message, and there is no principle under which the First Amendment can be read to prohibit government from doing so because the views are particularly controversial or politically divisive.”
The court pointed out that nobody is forced to buy the “Choose Life” plates, unlike, say, New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” plates, which all Granite State vehicles must bear. In 1977 in Wooley v. Maynard, the U.S. Supreme Court said New Hampshire drivers could cover up the state motto if they disagreed with it, but the state had a right to put it on the plates. Accordingly, in Bredesen, the 6th Circuit said, ” ‘Choose Life’ is Tennessee’s public message, just as ‘Live Free or Die’ communicated New Hampshire’s individualist values and state pride.”
The Tennessee plate has a beautiful, laughing baby on it despite home state environmental champion Al Gore’s implicit message that each new child is a threat to the planet.