The Alliance Defense Fund first brought the case in August 2004 after the DMV rejected the license plate, claiming it might offend some New Yorkers.
The decision in Northern District court in New York says New York violated First Amendment rights by rejecting the license plate. The state could appeal the decision.
“The decision of the federal court in the ‘Choose Life’ license plates case is a victory for the free speech rights of all New Yorkers,” said Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities of the Catholic Conference. “With its custom license plate program, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles created a public forum where it allows the display of messages, slogans, logos, web sites and toll-free telephone numbers for advocacy groups. The state cannot permit free speech for some but not for all. Equal protection under the law means all persons and groups must be treated equally.
Gallagher said the state has a moratorium on custom plates, but it should be lifted after Tuesday’s ruling and the judge’s decision should be implemented.
There was no immediate comment from DMV.