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Supreme Court Won’t Review North Carolina’s Decision on License Plates with Confederate Flag

1. The Supreme Court Declines to Review North Carolina’s Decision

The Supreme Court announced that it will not review North Carolina’s choice to discontinue the issuance of specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag. The court did not provide any comments on its decision. This case was one of several that the court declined to hear. It resembled a 2015 case from Texas where the court ruled that license plates are considered state property.

2. Background of the Dispute

The current dispute arose from North Carolina’s decision in 2021 to stop issuing specialty license plates that displayed the emblem of the North Carolina chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The organization filed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s decision violated both state and federal laws. The case was dismissed by a lower court, and a federal appeals court upheld the dismissal.

3. North Carolina Megachurch Withdraws from Southern Baptist Convention

Elevation Church, a prominent North Carolina megachurch known for its influence on contemporary Christian worship music, has withdrawn its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. This move came less than a month after another large church was expelled from the convention for having women pastors.

4. Ohio’s Redistricting Lawsuit Sent Back to State Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has directed Ohio’s top court to reexamine the legality of the state’s congressional districts. This decision came after a ruling that struck down the districts was set aside for further consideration. The issue of redistricting in Ohio will be revisited by the state’s Supreme Court.

5. Lawsuit Challenges North Carolina’s 12-Week Abortion Law

Abortion providers in North Carolina have filed a federal lawsuit challenging various provisions of a state law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The lawsuit was filed shortly before the new restrictions were set to take effect.

6. NBA Player Pleads Guilty to DWI Charge

Devonte’ Graham, a player for the San Antonio Spurs, has pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated. The charge stemmed from a speeding stop in July 2022. Graham is currently awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for next month.

7. North Carolina’s License Plate Options

North Carolina offers three standard license plates and over 200 specialty plates. Specialty plates can be created by civic clubs, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, by meeting specific requirements.

8. State Department of Transportation’s Decision

In 2021, the state’s Department of Transportation informed the Sons of Confederate Veterans that it would no longer issue or renew specialty license plates featuring the Confederate battle flag or any variation of it. The reason cited was the potential to offend those who view such plates. The state stated that it would consider alternative designs for the plates that do not include the Confederate flag.

9. Violation of Free Speech Rights

The organization, Sons of Confederate Veterans, argued that the state’s decision violated their free speech rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution and state laws pertaining to specialty license plates. However, their argument was unsuccessful.

10. Previous Supreme Court Ruling on Texas License Plates

In a similar case in 2015, the Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans claimed that the state was wrong to reject a specialty license plate with their insignia. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Texas, asserting that the state could regulate the content of license plates since they are considered state property.


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