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Man Sues After California Rejects 'COY-W' License Plate

DMV says it could be considered racially degrading
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 10, 2019 11:06 AM CDT
The California Department of Motor Vehicles office in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles is seen Tuesday, April 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

(Newser) – A soccer fan claims in a lawsuit that the California Department of Motor Vehicles violated his First Amendment rights by rejecting a personalized license plate he said would celebrate his favorite team, but which the DMV said might be deemed offensive. The federal suit filed Tuesday says Jon Kotler—who LA Magazine reports is a lawyer and constitutional scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism—applied for a plate that would read COY-W. That's an abbreviation of "Come on You Whites," a slogan used by fans of London-based Fulham Football Club, reports the AP.

The suit says the DMV said it could be considered hostile, insulting, or racially degrading; the DMV says it does not comment on pending lawsuits. The complaint accuses the DMV of depriving Kotler of his right to freedom of speech. Kotler, who travels to London annually to see his team play, is asking the court to declare the DMV's criteria for personalized license plates unconstitutional.

(Read more license plates stories.)

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