Victory for free speech rights in California DMV censorship lawsuit
November 24, 2020
San Francisco; November 24, 2020: Today, a federal judge ruled that the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ restriction of personalized license plates that it considers “offensive to good taste and decency” is unconstitutional.
Chris Ogilvie applied for a personalized license plate reading “OGWOOLF,” a reference to Ogilvie’s nickname in the military. The DMV rejected his application on the grounds that “OG” means “original gangster,” which the DMV said was offensive to good taste and decency.
“This is a great day for our clients and the 250,000 Californians that seek to express their messages on personalized license plates each year,” said PLF attorney Wen Fa. “Vague bans on offensive speech allow bureaucrats to inject their subjective preferences and undermine the rule of law.”
Four other Californians joined Ogilvie to challenge the rejection of their plates:
Chris Ogilvie, Andrea Campanile, Paul Crawford, James Blair and Amrit Kohli are represented free of charge by Pacific Legal Foundation. Ogilvie v. Gordon was argued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.