My personal motto is “Look on the Sunny Side of Life!” I confess I adopted it while watching the closing scene in Monty Python’s film, Life of Brian. Reluctant messiah and martyr Brian is painfully crucified to a cross, along with a dozen other criminals. But does life get them down? No way! They smile, tap their toes, snap their fingers, whistle and sing, “Look on the sunny side of life…la la…la la…la la! La la! La la!”
Do I, a conservative, let federal judges dampen my spirits? Fat chance!
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval gave my temperament a test, however, when last week he ruled that the state of Louisiana could not issue specialty tags for license plates with the wording “Choose Life” and the picture of a pelican carrying a baby (see the constitutionally affronting image at www.chooselifela.org). Previously in 2000, he forbade the entire “Choose Life” specialty license plate.
Will somebody please tell me this guy is a Clinton appointnik?
Duval’s reasoning? Thimk [sic] hard. That’s it, free speech. According to Duval, a plate that says “Choose Life” is really saying “Choose Violation of First Amendment,” because there are no plates available for the opposing view. Further, offering only one ‘“viewpoint” means the state is promoting an exclusive ideology.
La la! La la!
But wait, there’s more!
Duval writes, “If the state built a convention hall for speech and then only allowed people to speak with whom they agreed with their message, the state’s actions would be in contravention of the First Amendment. There is no significant difference in the case before the court.”
I suppose in The Grand Cosmic Scale of Things the difference between a license plate and a convention hall is rather piddling, but then I live down here on earth and not in Judge Duval’s celestial quarters.
Keep in mind that Louisiana, along with many other states, offers 150 different specialty plates for an extra $25 each. The money supports wildlife conservation, Girl Scouts, you name the cause.
Duval’s ruling has effectively disallowed all these specialty plates by declaring illegal the manner in which they are issued, i.e., selectively and exclusively by the state legislature. In order to keep the dangerous Girl Scout and Choose Life plates, Louisiana will likely follow other states in requiring a minimum number of people requesting a particular specialty plate.
Which opens a delightfully entertaining chapter of free speech that can only be fully appreciated by conservative connoisseurs of comedy.
I wonder what picture will accompany the “Right to Choose” plate? A scalpel?
And when will the first lawsuit be filed against Louisiana’s state motto, Union, justice, and confidence? We know Duval wouldn’t want the state to exclusively promote the ideas therein. An alternate motto will be necessary. Perhaps Diversity and Disarray?
La la! La la!
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?