The license plate “COPSLIE” is perfectly acceptable to have on your car in the state of New Hampshire (except for the fact that it’s already taken). According to Mercury News, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the vanity license plate was not going against any of the laws that the DMV and the state have. NH resident David Montenegro was originally denied his request for the plate because the DMV believed the requested content was “disparaging an entire class of people.” Montenegro fought the decision… and he won.
Evidently there was a lot of debate surrounding what is in “good taste” and who decides whether or not to accept a vanity plate request. If someone at the DMV agreed with Montenegro’s sentiment, would he have gotten approved for the plate the first time around?
The “COPSLIE” license plate was David Montenegro’s opinion and he says that he wanted it on his vehicle as a way “protest government corruption.” His attorney Anthony Galdieri claimed that the expression on the license plate was protected by his client’s First Amendment rights.
“This regulation was an impermissible way to regulate speech under the First Amendment… This opinion today is about keeping the government honest and fair when it regulates speech,” said Galdieri.
Another great example was brought up in court — would the license plate “COPS R GR8′ be approved or denied? And would that decision be based on how the approving DMV employee felt about the content? This argument very well may have driven the point home and Montenegro can now go about his life with his vanity plate.
According to Reuters via Yahoo! News, Montenegro has been fighting this battle since 2010. At the time, he opted for his second vanity license plate choice: “GR8GOVT.” According to the report, Montenegro also decided to legally change his name to “human” in 2012 — but that’s neither here nor there.
The “COPSLIE” license plate certainly isn’t the first one that’s ever been up for debate at a DMV in the USA. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a woman in New Jersey is suing after she was denied the vanity plate “8THEIST.” Interestingly enough, when she tried to obtain the plate “BAPTIST,” the content wasn’t flagged in the system. She doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with being an “atheist” and she’s hoping that she will win this battle and get to show off her beliefs on her vehicle. Heaven knows she won’t be “thanking God” if she wins the lawsuit — but many feel that she should be granted her wish regardless.
[Photo courtesy of WBZ]