“We understand that some members of the public find the Confederate flag offensive. But that fact does not justify the Board’s decision; this is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to protect against.” Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit found that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board violated the free speech rights of the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans when the Board denied the group’s application for a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v. Vandergriff, No. 13-50411 (July 14, 2014). The Court rejected a jurisdictional challenge under the Tax Injunction Act, finding that the plaintiff organization was not a taxpayer raising taxation issues. A dissent found the matter controlled by a Supreme Court case about public monuments. Initial coverage of the case has appeared in the Dallas Morning News and Times-Picayune.
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