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Author Topic: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement  (Read 1049 times)

Free libertarian

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 07:49 AM NHFT »

In what way, precisely, is "BIGTDIS" obscene?  I don't see any obscenity, there.  Doubly so because that's a VW, and if the picture was of the back, it most likely has a "TDI" badge on it.  But, even so, I can't see how that would be obscene on any car.

I, myself, have a Ford.  It has two TIT (trailer-in-tow) hitches.  Do you think the DMV would issue me a vanity plate reading "BIGTITS"?


 My Uncle Richard (we call him Dick), he's about 6' 8" and goes about 350 lbs.   ....I wonder what the DMV would say? Nah never mind.

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KBCraig

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 02:18 AM NHFT »

Just because the online checker shows "not available", doesn't mean it's banned -- it might already be in use.

Conversely, showing "available" doesn't mean they'll issue it -- human beings will actually eyeball it before it's issued.

For instance, "603MILF" is available. Would they issue it? Highly doubtful. You might have gotten away with it a few years ago, but these days even the little old ladies at the DMV know what MILF means.
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smiley

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 12:23 AM NHFT »

Update:

The NH Supreme Court has scheduled this case for oral argument this
Thursday, November 7, 2013.  The court will be giving me 5 minutes to
make my case.  They're giving the Attorney General's office 15 minutes.
Amicus curiae New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union will be getting 10
minutes.

There's an article about this which appeared on the front page of the
Portsmouth Herald on Sunday, October 13, 2013:

  http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131013-NEWS-310130329

Oral argument will be at the NH Supreme Court at 1 Charles Doe Dr. (just
off of Hazen Dr.) in Concord, NH 03301, during the morning session...
which essentially means whenever the court wants, between 9:00 A.M. and
12:00 noon.  The official oral argument schedule can be found on the
Supreme Court's Web site:

  http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orals/nov_2013.pdf

Oral argument should also be webcast live via the court's streaming
video feed:

  http://www.courts.nh.gov/cstream/index.asp

As always, proceedings in court are "free" and open to the public (for
some definition of "free"...).

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smiley

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2013, 04:19 PM NHFT »

Oral argument for this case took place at the NH Supreme Court in
Concord, NH, this morning.  Judging by how the justices behaved, it
looks certain that they'll be striking down the DMV's regulation as
unconstitutional.

The court room was chocked full of reporters and other spectators.  You
can expect to see coverage of this on WBZ and WMUR, tonight, as well as
just about every newspaper imaginable tomorrow.  I was amazed to see
just how much interest this case has generated.

For those wishing to watch oral argument (which consisted primarily of
the justices interrupting the litigants!), a video recording of it
should be available through this Web page:

  http://www.courts.nh.gov/cstream/index.asp

Enjoy!
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Tom Sawyer

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2013, 06:07 PM NHFT »

Good on ya Smiley!
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K neth

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2013, 03:57 PM NHFT »

Link from Drudge:
DMV Denies 'COPSLIE' Vanity Plate...
http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/23916187/nh-man-argues-dmvs-denial-of-copslie-license-plate-violates-his-free-speech-rights#axzz2k5cLDLhp


NH man argues DMV's denial of 'COPSLIE' license plate violates his free speech rights

Posted: Nov 08, 2013 11:18 AM EST Updated: Nov 08, 2013 1:25 PM EST
By Associated Press

A New Hampshire man told the state's highest court Thursday that denying him a vanity license plate that reads "COPSLIE" violates his political free speech rights.

David Montenegro, of Farmington, said he wanted the plate because he feels it epitomizes government corruption.

Lawyers for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, who joined the case, say the current DMV regulation is unconstitutionally vague and vests too much discretion in a person behind a counter. The policy prohibits vanity plates that "a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste."

"So if a person at DMV agrees with the sentiment, he gets the plate?" Chief Justice Linda Dalianis asked during a spirited half-hour of arguments.

"What is good taste?" Justice Carol Ann Conboy asked. "That seems to be the nub of the argument."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Richard Head argued that state workers were right to deny Montenegro the plate in 2010, because the phrase accuses an entire class of people — police officers — of moral turpitude.

"I don't deny you might get two different decisions from two different people," Head said in response to a question about whether a plate reading "COPS R GR8" would be approved.

Anthony Galdieri, an attorney representing the civil liberties union, argued that an accusation is nothing more than viewpoint.

Justice Gary Hicks questioned how the court could restrict someone's ability to have an opinion. Head replied that Montenegro's plate preference was an allegation, not an opinion.

Gilles Bissonnette, another NHCLU attorney, said "COPSLIE" is political speech that is being regulated and suppressed by the government.

"There's no way to objectively enforce this regulation," Bissonnette said.

After court, Montenegro — who last year legally changed his name to "human" — said he thought police officers who might pull him over and have to type "COPSLIE" into their computers would amount to "the perfect situational irony." He said he was confident the court would invalidate the DMV provision, despite opening his argument by telling the justices that the only reason the case had reached their level was because of a corrupt judiciary.

He also acknowledged that he had been arrested twice, but would not say what the charges were.

The justices did not indicate when they would rule.


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Free libertarian

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2013, 08:02 PM NHFT »

I believe there is nothing false about your choice of license plate.
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MaineShark

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2014, 04:13 PM NHFT »

Interestingly, I actually saw "BIGTDIS" on the road a few months ago, in Manchester.  Yes, it was a diesel vehicle.

Any news on the case?
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dalebert

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2014, 04:40 PM NHFT »

Any news on the case?

I saw that vehicle the other day. It still says "BIGTDIS".
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WithoutAPaddle

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2014, 11:53 AM NHFT »

From today's Foster's Daily Democrat:



New Hampshire court upholds COPSLIE vanity plate
Wednesday, May 7, 2014



CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — If a New Hampshire man thinks cops lie, he's free to say so on his license plate, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.

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."

"The restriction grants DMV officials the power to deny a proposed vanity registration plate because it offends particular officials' subjective idea of what is 'good taste,'" the court wrote. The decision states the law is unconstitutionally vague and violates free speech rights.

The case was sent back to Strafford County Superior Court for further proceedings.

Attorney Anthony Galdieri, who argued the case on behalf of Montenegro and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, said he was not surprised by the ruling. "This regulation was an impermissible way to regulate speech under the First Amendment," Galdieri said.

Montenegro did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.



David Montenegro
 
At spirited arguments in November, the high court panel grilled state officials.

"So if a person at DMV agrees with the sentiment, he gets the plate?" Chief Justice Linda Dalianis asked.

"What is good taste?" added Justice Carol Ann Conboy, who wrote Wednesday's ruling. "That seems to be the nub of the argument."

Answering a question about whether a plate reading "COPS R GR8" would be approved, Senior Assistant Attorney General Richard Head acknowledged that two different people could come to different conclusions. Head could not be reached for comment.

Lawyers for Montenegro told the court that the accusation "COPSLIE" is a viewpoint that should be protected as free speech, not regulated and suppressed by the government.

After court in November, Montenegro — who in 2012 legally changed his name to "human" — said he thought police officers who might pull him over and have to type "COPSLIE" into their computers would amount to "the perfect situational irony."

He also acknowledged that he had been arrested twice but would not say what the charges were.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 12:02 PM NHFT by WithoutAPaddle »
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Silent_Bob

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2014, 01:06 PM NHFT »

Every once in a while the SC gets something right.
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smiley

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2014, 01:43 PM NHFT »

For those who may be interested, a status conference for this case has been scheduled for 9:00-9:15 on 2014-07-22 in Strafford Superior Court.
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WithoutAPaddle

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2014, 04:08 PM NHFT »

For those who may be interested, a status conference for this case has been scheduled for 9:00-9:15 on 2014-07-22 in Strafford Superior Court.

To discuss the status of what issue or issues?  I would think that at this point, the DMV must either issue the plate or enact a rule empowering it to refuse to issue it that does not grant excessive or unreasonable discretion to the DMV employees.  Did the defendant sue for "specific performance"?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 10:55 PM NHFT by WithoutAPaddle »
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Tom Sawyer

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2014, 07:34 PM NHFT »

Man named human loses primary in New Hampshire

Quote
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Human's race ended in defeat.

A candidate who legally changed his name to human — with a lowercase "H'' — lost his bid to run for office in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

The former David Montenegro lost a primary contest to incumbent Democratic state Rep. Rose Marie Rogers by a count of 181-30.

Montenegro changed his name in 2012. He made headlines this year when the state's highest court ruled he could have a vanity license plate that reads COPSLIE. He had sued after the Division of Motor Vehicles said he couldn't have the plate because it denigrated police officers.

Rogers was first elected in 2012 and represents Rochester, a city of about 30,000 residents.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: N.H. Supreme Court free speech case amicus announcement
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2014, 06:47 PM NHFT »

I never saw this thread before hmm

It seems like I saw a tv story on this in passing. I got the notion that NH was banning plates. It might be bad reporting or me not listening very well.
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