In Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board (Board) rejected the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ (Texas SCV) application for a specialty license plate featuring images of the Confederate Flag. The Supreme Court will decide whether this violates the First Amendment.
This case may have implications beyond the specialty license plate context. Lower courts have struggled to determine whether government websites, advertisements on city buses, memorial bricks and tiles at public schools, etc. are government speech or private speech.
Texas allows nonprofits to propose license plate designs for state approval. Texas SCV applied for a specialty plate featuring its logo, a Confederate flag framed on all four sides with the words “Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896,” and a faint Confederate flag in the background. The Board voted unanimously against the plate because it received numerous public comments objecting to it.
The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas SCV. Continue reading