License plate recall a violation of free speech?

It only took one complaint.

Now the South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles has recalled a woman's license plate. The plates read M-PEACH-W. It's aimed to encourage the impeachment of George W. Bush. Heather Morijah has had the plates since the summer of 2006, but the state prohibits personalized plates considered offensive or in poor taste - and all it takes is one complaint. According to Morijah it's not offensive. It's free speech.

"If someone has different political views from someone else, can they just arbitrarily call that obscene, or in poor taste, or offensive and demand that message not be displayed anymore?" Morijah asked. "I mean I can see that the state issues the plates, but it's not about who physically owns the plates its about who owns the speech."

She had 10 days to give the plates back and that time has passed. The DMV said they're reviewing the situation and will have a final decision on May 7, 2007. Morijah does have the right to an appeal, but said she is moving to Pennsylvania soon and plans to keep the personalized message on her plates.


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