These are the two plate designs that were successfully added to a bill by an amendment yesterday in Florida's Senate. If they do pass, what will happen? Discussion after the jump.
Florida was the first to introduce the "Choose Life" plate back in August 2000, when the Florida Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit from the National Organization of Women. Today, 24 states have the plates, the most recent being Virginia. No state currently has a "Choose Choice" plate available.
However, South Carolina tried an "I Believe" plate with a cross, similar to the one that was just added to the Florida bill:
South Carolina legislators made nothing ambiguous about the fact that they didn't want other religions represented by licenses plates. "Absolutely and positively no," Rep. Bill Sandifer said to a plate honoring Islam. "I can’t tell you what 169 of my colleagues would do. But I would not because of my personal belief, and because I believe that wouldn’t be the wish of the majority of the constituency in this house district."
Just before the plate was to be released in December 2008, however, U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie issued an injunction, forcing the state to stop production:
Currie noted that laws can be considered constitutional only if they have a non-religious purpose, refrain from advancing or inhibiting religion and don’t foster excessive entanglement between church and state.
"Based on the record now before the court," Currie wrote, "the court finds it unlikely that the I Believe Act satisfies even one of these requirements. As the Act must satisfy all three requirements to survive constitutional scrutiny, the court concludes the Plaintiffs have made a strong showing of likelihood of success...."
Let's hope Florida goes the same way.