The central question presented in this paper is whether specialty license plates constitute government speech, and are thus subject to disapproval by the Board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The core concerns reviewed in this research, largely focus on defining whose speech specialty license plates are. The purpose is to investigate and analyze the precedent established as a result of a recent case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. The paper thoroughly reviews the arguments made in the majority opinion, as well as those of the dissenting opinion, with an interdisciplinary approach. The argument presented is in favor of the defendants, Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is commonly referred to as SCV throughout the paper. Hence, the paper opposes the current stare decisis that renders specialty license plates government speech. The claim made is that the Court’s decision to reverse the lower court’s verdict falls short of success. This is primarily because it fails to identify specialty plates as hybrid speech. It is true these plates include the name of the state and are issued by the state, however, they are also personal messages requested and paid for by private entities. The alternative solutions presented to the current precedent include a return to previous specialty license plate programs, gathering of more relative data, and removal of such programs that blur the line of government and private speech.
"A Tricky Negotiation: Free Speech Versus Insensitivity,"
Washington University Undergraduate Law Review:
Available at: https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/wuulr/vol1/iss1/7