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freetors
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640 Posts
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This will probably end up in P&O but I'm posting it here because I don't like to go in there. This state got a new license plate design a few years back that happens to have a small picture of an indian guy them and now this guy has a beef with it. Discuss. I personally think it's a waste of time and he needs to get a life.

Appeals court rules Oklahoma license plate suit has merit | Tulsa World

DENVER - An appeals court gave new life Tuesday to a lawsuit of a man who claims a Native American image on Oklahoma's license plates violates his religious rights as a Christian by portraying Indian religion.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that a judge in Oklahoma City erred last year by throwing out the lawsuit of Keith Cressman, an Oklahoma City-area resident.

Cressman, who says he "adheres to historic Christian beliefs," objects to the image of a Native American shooting an arrow toward the sky. He claims the image unconstitutionally contradicts his Christian beliefs by depicting Indian religious beliefs, and that he shouldn't have to display the image.

The appellate judges stated Oklahoma law imposes sanctions for covering up the image and the state charges more for speciality plates without it.

His 2011 lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City seeks a court order allowing him either to cover up the image on his plates or to get a personalized plate for the same cost as a standard license plate.

"Mr. Cressman's (lawsuit) states a plausible compelled speech claim," the appellate judges wrote Tuesday in a 39-page decision, reversing Judge Joe Heaton's dismissal of the lawsuit. "He has alleged sufficient facts to suggest that the 'Sacred Rain Arrow' image on the standard Oklahoma license plate conveys a particularized message that others are likely to understand and to which he objects."

Cressman's attorney, Nathan Kellum, said the decision may boost his client's chances when the case goes back to Heaton for further proceedings.

"It appears that the court has recognized the constitutional rights at stake and that Mr. Cressman could very well be suffering from forced compulsion of speech," said Kellum of the Memphis-based Center for Religious Expression.

The Oklahoma attorney general's staff is representing state officials defending the state's position.

"The 10th Circuit decision simply recognizes the importance of the First Amendment and offers another chance to review this case," said Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the attorney general. "We'll continue to defend the state's position that Oklahoma's license plate design does not violate Mr. Cressman's constitutional rights."

The image is of a sculpture at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa by Allan Houser of an Indian shooting an arrow into the sky to bring rain. The change in license plate design began in 2009.

Senior 10th Circuit Judge William Holloway of Oklahoma City was one of the three judges of the Denver-based court which issued Tuesday's decision.

Kellum said the appeals court's decision "provides some analysis of legal opinions that we think will help Mr. Cressman's cause" when Heaton reconsiders it.
 

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Forever the Man
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2,901 Posts
Don't have a problem with this suit. People are suing over "Christian" imagery all the time. About time the Christians fought back. Works both ways. Suprised some Muslims didn't think of this first.
 

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Registered
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21,263 Posts
Don't have a problem with this suit. People are suing over "Christian" imagery all the time. About time the Christians fought back. Works both ways. Suprised some Muslims didn't think of this first.
Fail. Just because it has an Indian shooting an arrow on the back doesn't make it a religious picture.



What in that is religious?

Now, someone displaying a cross, Jesus, the 10 commandments? Yep, those are clearly religious signs. If it had Muhammad, Vishnu, Zeus, Loki, etc on it, then it would be warranted as well.
 

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Premium Member
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Honestly, I hope this guy wins his case. That would just make it all the easier to go after the hoards of Christian imagery and eradicate it all. I personally think it is a bit of a stretch calling this religion, but let him dig his own hole.
 
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