Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans

Posted: April 12, 2015 by beguide in case summaries, Free Speech
Tags: ,

WHAT HAPPENED: The Texas DMV started a program where citizens could put any picture they wanted on their license plate. Amidst the truckload of requests for Dallas Cowboy license plates, the Defendants asked to put the Confederate Flag on their license of plate because of course they did. The DMV refused the request, because the flag has connections to racism and slavery, and the following lawsuit was filed by the ACLU, because the ACLU is both the best and worst institution in the American legal system.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: The First Amendment provides freedom of speech to all citizens, although the Supreme Court has permitted the government to make exceptions for when the regulation is content-neutral and based on legitimate government reasons. The issue here is that the content is clearly not content neutral nor supported by a government reason, although once again, the confederate flag is a symbol associated with racism and slavery.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION: The practical aspects of this case illustrate the worst sides of First Amendment cases. If the license plate is denied, then Ben Franklin and the founding fathers roll over in their grave as the First Amendment and the law supporting it is almost completely disregarded. If the license plate is allowed to have the confederate flag, this case would allow citizens to pick any horrible image and put it on the back bumper of their car. In this case, the DMV would probably just disregard the entire program, to keep people from exploiting the decision because people are horrible like that.

WHAT WAS THE RULING: No ruling as of yet.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR WALKER AND THE DMV IF YOU: support a totalitarian government that puts regulations on how we think, talk, dress, walk, and/or decorate our license plates.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS IF YOU: love bumper stickers, are a Dallas Cowboys fan, and/or the third worst thing that exists in the world right now.

WHO WAS RIGHT: Brett and Nazim both believed that the DMV would prevail here, believing that the license plates were enough of government speech that the Court would put the regulation into a different standard.

  1. […] addition to discussing the decisions in Ohio v Clark, Brumfield v. Cain, and Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Brett and Nazim discuss (1) which case would be worse to lose, Obamacare or Same Sex Marriage, (2) […]


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