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Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds GBKH Client’s First Amendment Rights

On July 14th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found in favor of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which was represented by GBKH in a high-profile dispute over specialty license plates featuring an image of the Confederate battle flag. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles had denied the SCV’s application for the license plate after a public outcry over its controversial design, and a trial court upheld the agency’s decision. The Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, finding that the state had violated the SCV’s right to free speech under the First Amendment. Writing for the majority, Judge Edward C. Prado acknowledged that many members of the public find the Confederate flag offensive, but he pointed out that the First Amendment was designed to protect the proponents of unpopular causes. For more information, see Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., et al. v. Vandergriff, et al., Case No. 13-50411, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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