The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in Choose Life Illinois v. White, upholding a Seventh Circuit ruling that the Illinois system for approving specialty plates was not discriminatory.
The case was filed in 2004 after citizens had collected more than the requisite number of signatures, but were denied a “Choose Life” license plate.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, observed, “Ever-increasing numbers of pro-life Americans want to proudly display the ‘Choose Life’ message on their vehicles – as evidenced by the fact that 22 states now offer such plates. Illinois is unfairly censoring the freedom of speech of its citizens by not allowing them to obtain a plate with a life-affirming message.”
Mailee Smith, AUL Staff Counsel, noted, “Pro-life citizens in Illinois followed the rules in applying for a ‘Choose Life’ license plate, but were prohibited from obtaining the plate because the Illinois Secretary of State did not like its pro-life message. As the last defense for constitutional rights, the U.S. Supreme Court should have stepped in to correct the State’s clearly unconstitutional action.”
As in other states, the proceeds from the proposed “Choose Life” license plates would have gone to organizations such as pregnancy care centers that provide adoption counseling and referrals.
Americans United for Life filed an amicus brief in the Seventh Circuit on behalf of a large coalition of Illinois pregnancy care centers. That brief is available at http://www.aul.org/xm_client/client_documents/briefs/ChooseLifeILvWhite.pdf. However, that court refused to accept amicus briefs filed by pro-life organizations.
RELATED NEWS STORIES:
Los Angeles Times: Illinois can steer clear of abortion debate, Supreme Court rules
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR READERS
Catholic Exchange is free—but it is not free to produce. Advertising revenue covers only a fraction of the cost to generate reliably Catholic commentary and news, inspiring videos, a selection of the best Catholic blogs, and daily meditations and prayers.
To give us the strength and stability we need, Catholic Exchange is turning to you—our loyal reader—and asking you to become a monthly contributor.
Whether you can give $5 or $25, $50 or $100 each month, please leave something behind so we can continue—and strengthen—this important apostolate.
We are deeply grateful for one-time gifts, but we encourage you to choose “Monthly” on the drop-down menu. Your support will ensure that Catholic Exchange will be here during this most critical moment for the Church and America.