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Bishop Burbidge Questions Injunction Against Choose Life Plate

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge has expressed his serious concern with yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge James Fox to temporarily halt North Carolina from issuing “Choose Life” license plates. The preliminary injunction is the result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which claims the General Assembly’s decision to allow the plates is a violation of the First Amendment and free speech rights, in that the Assembly did not approve a plate citing “respect choice.”

Bishop Burbidge said the lawsuit filed by the ACLU is puzzling, since it in fact challenges the free speech rights of those who embrace and uphold respect for life. He notes that the “Choose Life” license plate was one of 80 specialty plates approved by the legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Beverly Perdue.

“It is difficult to understand how the 'Choose Life' plate violates any person’s freedom of speech,” Bishop Burbidge said, “given that a proposal for a plate can be made by any organization and that this plate speaks for those who too infrequently have no voice in our society, the unborn child.”

A hearing in the lawsuit has been set for Monday, December 5, 2011, in Wilmington.