Monday, June 28, 2004

Rehearing en banc denied by Fourth Circuit in S.C. license plate case

In Planned Parenthood of South Carolina, Inc. v. Rose, the Fourth Circuit declined to rehear en banc the case in which the panel of the Court struck down a South Carolina law allowing state license plates to bear the phrase, "Choose Life."

The vote in the case was this: "On the poll requested by a member of the court on the petition for
rehearing en banc, Judge Widener, Judge Niemeyer, Judge Williams, Judge Traxler, and Judge Shedd voted to grant rehearing en banc. Chief Judge Wilkins, Judge Wilkinson, Judge Luttig, Judge Michael, Judge Motz, Judge King, Judge Gregory, and Judge Duncan voted to deny rehearing en banc." Judge Wilkinson wrote an opinion concurring in the denial of rehearing, emphasizing that this is a First Amendment case, not an abortion case. Judge Shedd wrote an opinion that said how odd that South Carolina could make Choose Life its state slogan (according to the majority) but could not take the lesser step of allowing the Choose Life license plate.

I'm not sure that I can recall a case where on any issue where Chief Judge Wilkins, Judge Wilkinson, Judge Widener, and Judge Williams, and 2 Ws went one way, and 2 Ws went the other - but I'm not keeping score.

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