NJ DMV denies woman "8THEIST" license plate

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Shannon Morgan identifies as an atheist and wants the world, or at least the car behind her, to know it. But the state of New Jersey says no.
Morgan, of Leesburg, is suing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for rejecting her request for a vanity license plate reading "8THEIST," according to a formal complaint filed Thursday with the district court.
But the commission nixed her request, saying the message "may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency," according to the complaint.
An Americans United for Separation of Church and State legal team is now helping her sue the commission claiming Morgan's First Amendment rights were violated.
"The state of New Jersey is favoring religion while disparaging nonbelief," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the group. "It simply has no right to do that."
Morgan claims that she was denied a license plate for "8THEIST" but approved for one that read "BAPTIST" and that this "expresses a preference for theistic religious beliefs, over non-theistic beliefs" according to the complaint.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/19/us/new-jersey-atheist-plates/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Glad she's suing, this seems like it should be a slam dunk case. It's 2014, and Atheism is still "offensive to good taste and decency" FFS :rolleyes:
 

iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
1,593
1,224
New Jersey, United States
I must say this is extremely unusual in my state. I would like to think this is the work of one overzealous bad apple employee. The DMV really has no case here, I wouldn't be surprised if they change their minds quickly after all this publicity. ANY judge in this state would laugh in their face.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I wouldn't object to them not approving any religious license plates, but since it seems like they do they shouldn't have rejected this one.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
For many years, there was a Mercedes running around Oconee County, Georgia with the license plate that said BIOTCH. Our DMV sent her a letter saying that they would no longer renew it and she would have to get a new license plate. She is a Biology Tech at UGA. As smart as she was, she didn't understand why they were taking her plate.

I think New Jersey should go ahead and issue her license plate. They should not only issue it but as an apology waive the plate fee.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
I wouldn't object to them not approving any religious license plates, but since it seems like they do they shouldn't have rejected this one.
Yeah, but half the point of having religion any more is having a second standard. If we have to conform to a single standard, religions will loose a key source of pride and recruitment.

For many years, there was a Mercedes running around Oconee County, Georgia with the license plate that said BIOTCH. Our DMV sent her a letter saying that they would no longer renew it and she would have to get a new license plate. She is a Biology Tech at UGA. As smart as she was, she didn't understand why they were taking her plate.
That is ***** hilarious! :D


I'd make her add a space: BIO TCH
 

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
1,340
2,833
Anchorage
Personally I think license plates should be for vehicle identification ONLY.

I would go as far and say we need a single color plate for the entire country. No custom or vanity plates at all. If someone wants to make some type of statement put a sticker on your car.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,668
1,743
Personally I think license plates should be for vehicle identification ONLY.
I don't actually see a problem with that. It's just not what we have today. The complaint here is over strange censorship. Anyway I always thought states granted them for a small amount of extra revenue.
 

scottness

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2009
1,370
3
Room 101
Not sure why someone would want to be publicly identified by what they don't believe...

But the plate shouldn't be denied for any reason. Either there should be no criteria for approving vanity plates, or there should be no vanity plates. Simple.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
Not sure why someone would want to be publicly identified by what they don't believe...
Maybe it's a belief in nothingness, but I'd say more like 'belong to the group that doesn't believe.'

But the plate shouldn't be denied for any reason. Either there should be no criteria for approving vanity plates, or there should be no vanity plates. Simple.
There will always be commuting standards. Members of the community just like to argue over what those should be.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
Personally I think license plates should be for vehicle identification ONLY.

I would go as far and say we need a single color plate for the entire country. No custom or vanity plates at all. If someone wants to make some type of statement put a sticker on your car.
That would be stupid. You need to be able to easily identify each state.
 

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
1,340
2,833
Anchorage
That would be stupid. You need to be able to easily identify each state.
Who needs to "easily identify each state" and why?

The Police? When they run the plate that would give them all the information about the vehicle and owner's address.
 

scottness

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2009
1,370
3
Room 101
Because it's a minority position. Calling attention to it is a good thing (awareness, acceptance, etc).

So... Calling attention to minority positions is a good thing? There are lots of minority positions out there. By your logic, it should be ok to have license plates for the minority in the KKK, religious extremists and pedophiles. Who gets to decide what minority groups are acceptable?
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Personally I think license plates should be for vehicle identification ONLY.

I would go as far and say we need a single color plate for the entire country. No custom or vanity plates at all. If someone wants to make some type of statement put a sticker on your car.
The states make extra revenue off of these vanity license plates. In addition, some of these license plates generate money for groups. And the solution is to have the federal government take it over? Is there anything that you don't think the federal should run?
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
The states make extra revenue off of these vanity license plates. In addition, some of these license plates generate money for groups. And the solution is to have the federal government take it over? Is there anything that you don't think the federal should run?
Your ideology is literally so extreme you are now charging other extreme right wing ideologues with big government talking points. Amazing.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
The states make extra revenue off of these vanity license plates. In addition, some of these license plates generate money for groups. And the solution is to have the federal government take it over? Is there anything that you don't think the federal should run?

Posts like this are the reason few here take you seriously. Anyone who has spent more than 7 minutes in PRSI knows that lostngone is a rightie yet somehow, you've dropped another talking points memo on us and made him a big federal government guy. So disingenuous but funny.
 

Happybunny

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2010
1,752
1,351
Personally I think license plates should be for vehicle identification ONLY.

I would go as far and say we need a single color plate for the entire country. No custom or vanity plates at all. If someone wants to make some type of statement put a sticker on your car.
First off I was so surprised that you posted without mentioning the 2A.:p

But I whole heartily agree, this is how it is done in the Netherlands. This way there are no people who feel left out or have their feeling's hurt.

It becomes just a vehicle's ID and not a personal statement.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Your ideology is literally so extreme you are now charging other extreme right wing ideologues with big government talking points. Amazing.
Posts like this are the reason few here take you seriously. Anyone who has spent more than 7 minutes in PRSI knows that lostngone is a rightie yet somehow, you've dropped another talking points memo on us and made him a big federal government guy. So disingenuous but funny.
Really? What is wrong with my opinion that the States should control license plates? Am I not allowed to have that opinion? It's not a talking point! It's my opinion.

I rather like the fact that my state offers so many types of personalized plates plus the option to have vanity plates. I do not believe that federal government should take over issuing of license plates for vehicles. I believe that it is a state matter. The taxes collected from those plates go to maintain state roads.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
So... Calling attention to minority positions is a good thing? There are lots of minority positions out there. By your logic, it should be ok to have license plates for the minority in the KKK, religious extremists and pedophiles. Who gets to decide what minority groups are acceptable?
(a) KKK could be debated, but it's classified as a "hate group" by just about everyone, so not too tough a decision.

(b) Religious extremists? Like the ones that run our country? ;)

(c) Nothing wrong with being a pedophile, so long as you don't act on it. Actually, I think some advocacy for pedophilia is warranted; I'm sure most pedophiles never act on their urges, just like people who are turned on by rape porn, etc.

And besides, she's just asking for a custom set of letters/numbers, not an "official" sanctioned plate design.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Really? What is wrong with my opinion that the States should control license plates? Am I not allowed to have that opinion? It's not a talking point! It's my opinion.
It was quite clear neither of us were referring to your stance on license plates. This is a terrible strawman to deflect away from your ideological failure.