A New Jersey woman is suing the U.S. government after being denied a licence plate that would proclaim her atheist views even though a plate reading “BAPTIST” was approved.
Shannon Morgan is alleging that her First Amendment rights were violated, according to abcnews.com.
According to the suit, Morgan says she tried to register online with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for a vanity licence plate reading “8THEIST,” but was told that the “requested plate text is considered objectionable.”
Morgan then tested the system to see if she could register a licence plate that read “BAPTIST” and found that it was permitted and she could order the licence plate if she wished, abcnews.com reports.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty watchdog group, is representing Morgan.
“The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s actions are mean-spirited and derogatory,” as well as “unconstitutional,” the organization said in a statement.
According to the South Jersey Times, Sandy Grossman, a spokesman for the MVC, said that each licence plate request was reviewed by commission officials.
“We have no objection and continue to issue plates with these types of configurations,” Grossman said.