- The Supreme Court has declined to review North Carolina’s decision to stop issuing license plates displaying the Confederate flag.
- North Carolina ceased issuing these specialty license plates to the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2021, a decision that was upheld by lower courts.
- The Sons of Confederate Veterans argued that the decision violated state and federal law.
- The case mirrors a similar dispute in Texas in 2015, in which the Supreme Court ruled that license plates are state property and content can be limited accordingly.
The Supreme Court has chosen not to review the decision by North Carolina to stop issuing license plates featuring the Confederate flag. The high court declined to comment on its decision, which is one of many cases it refused to review on Monday.
In 2021, North Carolina decided to halt the issuance of specialty license plates that bore the insignia of the North Carolina chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In response, the chapter initiated a lawsuit, arguing that the state’s decision was in violation of state and federal laws. However, a lower court dismissed the case and a federal appeals court upheld this decision, leading the chapter to appeal to the Supreme Court.
This case echoes a similar dispute in Texas in 2015, where the court ruled that license plates are considered state property. The Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans argued that the state was wrong to refuse to issue a specialty license plate featuring the group’s insignia. However, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, ruled that Texas could limit the content on its license plates as they are regarded as state property.
North Carolina currently offers three standard license plates and over 200 specialty plates. Civic clubs, such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, can create specialty plates if they meet specific requirements. The lawsuit was filed after the Department of Transportation sent a letter stating that it would no longer issue or renew specialty license plates displaying the Confederate battle flag or any variation of it, as such plates have the potential to offend.