by Steven Ertelt
September 28, 2005
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has upheld a decision by a state commission denying pro-life Arizona residents an opportunity to have a Choose Life license plate. U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt said the Arizona Life Coalition failed to show that its right to free speech was denied by the Arizona License Plate Commission.
Rosenblatt said the commission acted reasonably and tried to avoid the appearance (of) political favoritism in an otherwise nonpublic forum and maintained state neutrality on the issue, giving neither side a leg up in this hotly debated public question.”
Pro-life groups disagree with the ruling and plan to appeal his decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We are extremely disappointed that the judged failed to recognize the merits of the case," Arizona Right to Life director Shane Wikfors told LifeNews.com.
"Judge Rosenblatt has turned his back on free speech, equal protection and most importantly, our ability to help pregnant women obtain resources through life-affirming choices," Wikfors added.
Proceeds from the sale of the Choose Life plates would have benefited pregnancy centers that help women find abortion alternatives.
The coalition of pro-life groups, which also includes the Center for Arizona Policy several
crisis pregnancy centers, the Knights of Columbus and other groups, submitted its plate application in January 2002 and sued the state in September 2003 after the commission denied the plate.
"Rosenblatt’s decree illustrates the importance of overhauling the judicial system which is clearly our of synch with the general consensus," Wikfors concluded
Related web sites:
Arizona Right to Life – https://www.azrtl.org