Lawsuit Over License Plates Reinstated


Wednesday, March 7th 2007, 12:35 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit brought by abortion rights proponents against Oklahoma's specialty ``Choose Life'' license plate.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Tuesday that the proponents have the right to pursue their court challenge, which alleges abortion opponents are unconstitutionally favored by the law.

Abortion rights proponents argue state law allows proceeds from the specialty plates program to fund groups involved in adoption activities, but bars funding of adoption efforts by abortion rights proponents, solely because they advocate abortion rights.

The appeals court ruling reverses a decision of a federal judge in Tulsa who threw out the lawsuit on grounds that the defendants, various state officials, are immune from being sued in federal court about the dispute.

The appellate judges said the latest version of the lawsuit seeks only to prohibit the state in the future from denying funds from the Choose Life Assistance Program to abortion rights organizations.

``We have not completely digested the opinion but are very pleased to see that at least some of our claims have been reinstated,'' said Martha Hardwick of Tulsa, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case.

For more background on this story, click on the links below to read additional stories about "Choose Life" license plates.

5/7/2002 - Keating Signs Bill For 'Choose Life'' License Plate

5/20/2002 - Activists Say New License Plates Violate Civil, Reproductive Rights

1/14/2004 - Abortion Rights Group Sues Oklahoma Over 'Choose Life' Plates

1/24/2005 - High Court Declines To Consider "Choose Life" Plates