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    First Amendment Lawsuit After '8theist' Vanity Plate Denied, 'Baptist' Approved

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Sharon Morgan is suing the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission after they denied her request for a license plate that said ‘Atheist,’ with a number 8 instead of an ‘A.’

    Sharon Morgan is suing the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission after they denied her request for a license plate that said ‘Atheist,’ with a number 8 instead of an ‘A.’

    She tried to register for the vanity plate online, but received a message denying her request saying that the “requested plate text is considered objectionable.”

    After being denied, she tried to register for a plate that said ‘BAPTIST,’ which was approved.

    Morgan is being represented by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who say that the Motor Vehicles Commission violated her constitutional Fist Amendment rights by discriminating between different belief systems in their decision to allow certain license plate inscriptions and not others.

    There was another case in New Jersey where David Silverman, the president of the group American Atheists, wasn’t allowed to register a license plate that said ‘ATHEIST,’ with a number one in place of the ‘I.’

    Silverman is quoted as saying: "The word 'atheist,' in my opinion, is not objectionable. It's not a bad word and shouldn't be regarded as a bad word."

    After a formal complaint was sent to the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, Silverman reportedly had his requested approved by a supervisor three days later.