Federal Judge Rules NC Choose Life License Plates Unconstitutional
On Friday, United States District Court Judge James C. Fox ruled that North Carolina could not offer "Choose Life" license plates because they violate the First Amendment.
Fox determined that without a license plate promoting a pro-choice message, the proposed anti-abortion license plates violated the First Amendment and constituted "viewpoint discrimination." According to NBC, legislation creating both a pro-choice and anti-choice specialty plates had been defeated six times in the North Carolina legislature.
Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU-NCLF who lead the legal fight against the license plates, told reporters, "This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom. The government cannot create an avenue of expression for one side of a contentious political issue while denying an equal opportunity to citizens with the opposite view."
Representative Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell), sponsor of the legislation, says that he will urge the Attorney General to appeal the court's decision.
Media Resources: NBC 12/10/12; San Francisco Gate 12/10/12; WRAL 12/10/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .