WALKER v. TEXAS DIVISION, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS, INC., 135 S. Ct. 2239 (2015)
- March 23, 2015
- June 18, 2015
- Decided by:
- Roberts Court, 2014
- Reversed. Petitioning party received a favorable disposition.
Texas offers automobile owners a choice between general-issue and specialty license plates. Those who want the State to issue a particular specialty plate may propose a plate design, comprising a slogan, a graphic, or both. If the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board approves the design, the State will make it available for display on vehicles registered in Texas. Here, the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and its officers (collectively SCV) filed suit against the Chairman and members of the Board (collectively Board), arguing that the Board’s rejection of SCV’s proposal for a specialty plate design featuring a Confederate battle flag violated the Free Speech Clause. The District Court entered judgment for the Board, but the Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that Texas’s specialty license plate designs are private speech and that the Board engaged in constitutionally forbidden viewpoint discrimination when it refused to approve SCV’s design.
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