Arizona motorists will be able to put state license plates on their vehicles with an anti-abortion message.
In a unanimous ruling Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision of both the state License Plate Commission and a trial judge that plates with that kind of message are prohibited by Arizona law.
Commission members impermissibly denied the request by Arizona Right to Life solely because of the content of the message, Judge Richard Tallman, writing for the court, said. That, he said, violated the First Amendment.
Tallman also said the reason commission members gave for denying the request -- the controversial nature of the message -- did not fall within the reasons permitted by Arizona law.
Cydney DeModica, public affairs specialist for the state Motor Vehicle Division, said she had not seen the decision and could not comment.