New Jersey woman says the state discriminated against her on the basis
of her beliefs when it rejected her request for a license plate reading "8THEIST" as "objectionable."
Shannon Morgan, of Maurice Township, N.J., said that after her custom
plate was rejected, she tested "BAPTIST," and the Motor Vehicle
Commission's website accepted it.
she's filing a First Amendment suit against New Jersey, with
representation from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
spokesperson for the MVC says the state doesn't discriminate against
nonbelievers, citing a case where American Atheists president David
Silverman's request for a plate reading ATHE1ST was allowed after a review.
lawsuit says the fact that Silverman had to fight to get his plate
approved establishes a pattern of rejecting atheist plates in the State,
"thereby discriminating against atheist viewpoints and expressing a
preference for theism over non-theism."
Her plate wasn't just inadvertently rejected by a computer algorithm, either. A spokesperson for the MVC told NJ.com, "We review every request personally ... and we review them for anything that's offensive of objectionable."