Arkansas Choose Life Plate Lawsuit Was Filed by Criminal
by Steven Ertelt
December 1, 2003
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — New reports indicate that the lawsuit filed against the Choose Life license plate in Arkansas was done by a pro-abortion attorney who used a client he was defending in a criminal case to gain standing for the suit.
Doug Norwood, a defense attorney based in northwest Arkansas, wanted to sue the state to overturn the legislation passed by the state legislature authorizing the plates. However, he feared he would have difficulty obtaining standing in court to allow him to sue.
In Tamara Brackett, Norwood found a partner to help him in his scheme, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Norwood had been Brackett’s defense attorney for two years. He had defended her in a burglary case, though she claimed she was involved with the wrong guy who was the real culprit.
A plea bargain in her criminal case won Brackett probation as a first-time offender. But Norwood had an assignment for her to help him stop the pro-life license plates.
Norwood asked Brackett to go to a license plate office near her home and request a pro-abortion license plate he knew didn’t exist. After a clerk told her there was no such plate, Norwood filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to defend her rights.
Pro-life groups say it was inappropriate and possibly a breach of ethics for Norwood to ask Brackett, a client, to inquire about the plates.
"The state of Arkansas has opened a state-created forum to one viewpoint alone in the ongoing public controversy over abortion," Brackett’s suit says.
Though Brackett can’t purchase a plate that backs abortion, she is free to either place pro-abortion bumper stickers on her car or purchase a vanity plate with a pro-abortion slogan.
Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she wasn’t surprised by the lawsuit.
The Choose Life plates went on sale in August and, according to numbers from the state, as of October 31, 446 had been sold.
Related web sites:
Arkansas Choose Life Plates – https://www.artl.org/license_official.htm