Removing the overturning obscenity from Maine road and highway license plates happens overnight, even if a law prohibiting such blasphemy comes into force on Monday with such regulations being unusually loose. It is not.
Currently, there are license plates of salty words such as f-bombs, references to anatomy and sexual activity, and general insults. One license plate simply says “F — Y0U”, but it is clearly spelled out on the plate.
Rule-making is currently underway to ensure that the law protects the rights of the First Amendment, while removing obscene language.
This process, including public comments, can take two to four months, Secretary of State Shenabelose said.
Requests for so-called vanity license plates, which may be offensive, will be withheld for the time being.Eventually the state begins recall Previously issued plate, probably this winter.
“Rulemaking will delay the process of aggressive removal of plates from the road, but will help balance the public’s right to freedom of speech with the public interest of removing improper license plates.” She said.
Most states have restrictions on license plate messages that are considered racist, drug-related, politically unpleasant, or religiously offensive, suggesting blasphemous or sexual content.
However, Maine became “Vanity License Plate Wild, Wild, Wild West” when the state stopped the review process in 2015.
As a former Managing Director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Maine, Bellows understands the importance of protecting the First Amendment to Freedom of Speech. However, she admitted that she did not understand the range of “really disturbing” license plates before taking office as Secretary of State earlier this year.
Proceedings over this issue have also been filed in other states.
Last year, a federal judge ruled that California could not enforce a ban on vanity license plates that it considers “discomforting in taste and dignity.”
California law is so broad that states should be careful to target license plates that represent blasphemous, obscene, or malicious language.
In Maine, there are about 121,000 vanity license plates on state roads with about 1.3 million inhabitants. An estimated 400 offensive plates could be subject to recall, officials said.
Bellows said he saw it this way: “If you can’t say that in the 6 o’clock news, it shouldn’t be on the license plate.”
“The license plate is the property of the state,” she said. “If you really need an unpleasant slogan for your car, you can use a bumper sticker.”
Maine begins the process of removing% & * @ from the vanity plate
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