Georgia drivers can purchase state-issued Confederate license plates

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ATLANTA — Racial animus has already been ratcheted up several notches recently with the spate of controversial — and highly questionable — killings of unarmed black men by white law enforcement officers across the country. What is taking place in Georgia and Texas and other states in the Deep South could raise the stakes even higher.
Georgia drivers are permitted to purchase state-issued Confederate flags for license plates. But in Texas, which rejected such a measure four years ago, is watching as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on it in the coming days.
The ruling could have a domino affect in all Southern states and elsewhere. Currently, eight states produce state-issued Confederate license plates, including Georgia and even Maryland, Fox News reports.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the state of Texas to allow the state to produce such license plates, claiming the Lone Star State was infringing on their right to free speech. The lower court ruled against Confederate advocates. But on Monday, the justices of the Supreme Court prepare to hear arguments on both sides of the matter.
One thing in the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ favor: the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting the legal battle on their behalf.
In fact, the battle has brought together disparate groups who’ve become unlikely allies in the pursuit of the First Amendment and the right to free speech such as the ACLU, anti-abortion groups, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, civil libertarian Nat Hentoff and conservative satirist P.J. O’Rourke.
“In a free society, offensive speech should not just be tolerated, its regular presence should be celebrated as a symbol of democratic health — however odorous the products of a democracy may be,” Hentoff, O’Rourke and others said in a prepared statement.

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