Connecticut Must Reinstate Choose Life Plates or Pro-Life Group Will Sue
by Steven Ertelt
June 5, 2006
Hartford, CT (LifeNews.com) — If the state of Connecticut doesn’t reinstate the Choose Life license plates that it recently revoked, a pro-life group that promotes adoptions and sponsors the plate plans to file a lawsuit. The state halted sales of the plates after pro-abortion State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal complained.
The Children First Foundation, which is headquartered in New York but does business in Connecticut, says it doesn’t want to file a lawsuit to get the plates reinstated but will if the state won’t relent.
Elizabeth Rex, the president of the adoption group, told LifeNews.com her organization was "deeply saddened" that the state revoked the Choose Life plate "without following due process."
"Our public records at the DMV are evidence that CFF has fully complied with all state and DMV regulations," Rex said. "We urge the DMV to reinstate our plate immediately or we will have no other recourse but to take our case before the federal courts."
If the group has to go to court to keep the Choose Life plates on the road, it won’t be the first time the organization has relied on litigation. The Children First Foundation was forced to go to court to promote its Choose Life plates in New York and New Jersey and it received a favorable ruling in the New York case saying the state was denying its free speech rights.
The state stopped sales of the plates in Connecticut after Blumenthal wrote the state department of motor vehicles and claimed the pro-life group that sponsored the plates was not eligible to promote them there.
The Connecticut motor vehicle department said it would stop issuing the plates on Bluemnthal’s recommendation while it investigates whether the Children First Foundation qualifies to have the specialty plate.
The group qualified for the plates in 2003 but Blumenthal and a Democratic state legislator say CFF doesn’t do enough in Connecticut to warrant giving them the opportunity to sponsor the Choose Life plates.
Blumenthal, in a letter to DMV Commissioner Ralph Carpenter, said the Children First Foundation has "negligible, if any, `operations’ in Connecticut, much less a base of operations in this state."
Rex said Blumenthal never notified her that there were any problems before he wrote to the DMV.
She pointed to several letters from Connecticut lawmakers who said her group had done good work in the state promoting adoption over the years. The letters came from pro-abortion Sen. Joe Lieberman, Govs. John Rowland and Jodi Rell, and even Blumenthal himself.
Blumenthal wrote Rex’s group on March 2003 and told Rex that the organization had done "outstanding work" to help abandoned children find adoptive homes. He expressed his "deepest appreciation and admiration."
Approximately 200 state residents have purchased the Choose Life license plates for their automobiles and feature the group’s web site address. They have resulted in Rex’s group distributing at least $2,000 to adoption organizations.
Rep. Roberta Willis, a Democrat from Salisbury raised the initial concerns about the plates when she received complaints from pro-abortion constituents.