After a three-year legal fight, a Kentucky man has won the right to receive a personalized license plate reading “IM GOD.”

Bennie Hart, a retired postal worker in Kenton County, first applied for the plate in 2016 but was denied, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader. Officials at Kentucky’s Motor Vehicle Licensing Transportation Cabinet said the phrase was “obscene or vulgar” as well as “not in good taste and would create the potential of distraction to other drivers and possibly confrontations.”

Hart countered in the Hart v. Thomas case that he should have the right to express his views on his plate. He was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In court, his attorneys noted that the state had approved other plates that reference God, among them “GODLVS,” “TRYGOD,” “1GOD” and “NOGOD.”

U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove in November ruled in Hart’s favor, stating that while there are limits on what personalized license plates can say, “the First Amendment also imposes limits on the commonwealth.”

BREAKING NEWS

Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.


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