Clinton-appointed judge rules that pro-life license plates are “patently offensive”

New York pro-life license plate
New York pro-life license plate

Here’s an interesting story from The Daily Caller. (H/T Mary from Marin)

It says:

A new decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds that New York’s state government has the right to ban “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that such a statement is “patently offensive.”

The dispute stems from a now-suspended program offered by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which allowed private organizations to create custom license plates. If drivers purchased the plates, the purchasing price was split between the DMV and the non-profit.

The Children First Foundation (CFF), an organization promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion, submitted a design for a “Choose Life” license plate, which featured a drawing of two children’s faces in front of a yellow sun.

The proposed plate was rejected, with the DMV citing a policy that allows it to ban “patently offensive” plates in order to prevent incidents of road rage. The “patently offensive” category in U.S. speech is typically related to public obscenity laws, and allows for limitations on things like the public display of pornography or other materials that blatantly violate community standards.

Judge Rosemary Pooler, a Clinton appointee, agreed with New York’s position in her majority opinion. She took this view even though she also ruled that license plates are private speech subject to First Amendment protections. Despite these protections, however, she said that so many New Yorkers could find a plate advocating an anti-abortion position “patently offensive” that the DMV was justified in suppressing the speech.

I want to focus in on the life of the judge who made the decision.

I found her biography on Wikipedia. Look at how successful she was:

Rosemary Pooler was born in New York City. She earned a B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1959, an M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Following graduation from law school, Pooler entered private law practice in Syracuse, New York. In 1972, she was appointed as Director of the Consumer Affairs Unit in the Syracuse Corporation Counsel’s Office, serving in that post for a year. From 1974 to 1975, she served on the Syracuse City Council. In 1975, she was appointed as Chairman of the New York State Consumer Protection Board, serving until 1980. The following year, she was appointed to the state Public Service Commission. In 1987, she served as a committee staff member for the New York State Assembly. Following a stint on the law faculty at Syracuse University College of Law, she served for a year as Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Atlantic States Legal Foundation.

In 1986, Rosemary Pooler decided to run for the United States House of Representatives. She challenged conservative Republican incumbent George C. Wortley, who was seeking a fourth term. She campaigned aggressively and came within less than 1,000 votes of winning.

In 1990, she was elected as a Justice for the Fifth Judicial District of the Supreme Court of New York. Four years later, she was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton, serving from 1994 to 1998, as federal district judge in the Northern District of New York. She received her current appointment as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1998.

So, this license plate case, along with many of the other issues that I blog about, is the problem. What is the solution to all these problems? The solution is for us as Christians to get serious about our education, our work experience, our earning and saving, and our marriages and parenting in order to have an influence. We need to be the judges who make these decisions about whether pro-life license plates are legal or illegal. Failing that, our children need to be the judges. And that means that when it comes to education and career, instead of doing what makes us feel happy we have to work hard at having an influence. And when it comes to marriage, we should look at it less as something that is feelings-directed and happiness-focused, and more about making it serve God by raising influential, effective children.

4 thoughts on “Clinton-appointed judge rules that pro-life license plates are “patently offensive””

  1. Oh, the “joys” of being a New Yorker! At least this idiot judge (New York born and bred) can’t ban bumper stickers.

    My car was vandalized when my bumper sticker read, “Some babies die by Chance, No baby should die by Choice.” I was accosted in the street of a very arty, liberal Hudson River village by someone who didn’t like the same bumper sticker.

    Now my bumper sticker simply declares, “Remember the baby,” and neither my car nor I have been attacked.

    As the license plate expresses a positive liking for life, it is not offensive except to the thought police, of whom this judge must be a member. But if she hadn’t ruled out the pro-life license plate, rabidly pro-abortion Governor Andrew Cuomo (a good friend of two-faced Cardinal Timothy Dolan) would probably have acted to invalidate the license plate.

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  2. My bumper sticker shows a baby seal with the caption Save baby humans. So far no attacks on our car in this liberal area near DC. Mind you, it is quite small. Good advice in your conclusion.

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  3. Here in Virginia, we’ve had “Choose Life” plates for some time. (We also have Jimmy Buffet “Parrothead” plates, but that’s another story.) Since 2010, we’ve also had “Trust Women, Respect Choice”, which sends $15 from every plate to Planned Barrenhood. I would conservatively estimate that I’ve seen 100 “Choose Life” plates for every “Choice” plate. And I live in Northern Virginia, which is almost an extension of DC.

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