For Immediate Release
For Further Information
Contact: John Adams
(407) 302-1297 or (407) 491-8225
or Doug Guetzloe
Sons of Confederate Veterans Win Major Federal Court Battle over Establishment of Florida Confederate Heritage Specialty Plate
Court rules that specialty plates are “free speech,” throws out Florida Statute as “unconstitutional infringement.”
(Orlando) Federal District Judge John Antoon II has issued an order declaring the Florida statute that governs the procedure for Florida specialty plates “unconstitutional” and an infringement of free speech guarantees provided by the First Amendment.
Antoon ruled in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Florida Division) in a lawsuit that was filed over two (2) years ago following the failure of the Florida Legislature and the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles to approve a “Confederate Heritage” specialty license plate.
The SCV had completed all statutory requirements for a specialty plate and was then denied the issuance of a plate for “political reasons” by the Florida Legislature.
“Judge Antoon ruled for the First Amendment and for the SCV based on the Constitution and for that we are very pleased and grateful,” stated SCV spokesman and Vice President John Adams.
Orlando attorney Fred Oâ€ŸNeal represented the SCV in this successful lawsuit. The ruling for the SCV and against the State of Florida allows the SCV to seek and be granted attorneysâ€Ÿ fees in this case that could amount to in excess of $100,000.
“Now that the statute has been stricken that prevented our plate from DMV approval, we will go back to the Legislature, with Federal order in hand, and insist on the establishment of the „Confederate Heritageâ€Ÿ plate and we will be successful,” Adams concluded.