New Hampshire's highest court has ruled that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles erred when it told resident David Montenegro he could not get a vanity license plate that spelled out "COPSLIE." The Associated Press reports:
In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court agreed with the arguments of David Montenegro, who wanted the vanity plate reading "COPSLIE" to protest what he calls government corruption.
State law prohibits vanity plates that "a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste." But the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union argued that the law is unconstitutionally vague and gives too much discretion to a person behind a Department of Motor Vehicles counter.
New Hampshire had argued that state workers were right to deny the plate, because the phrase disparages an entire class of people — police officers.
The justices said that state law does not define the phrase "offensive to good taste."
Montenegro was represented by a lawyer from the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.
During arguments for the case last November, justices grilled attorneys as to whether approval of a license plate would be dependent on whether a DMV worker agreed with the sentiment. One pointed out that a license plate pointing out how awesome cops are would probably not be rejected.