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State Gives Up Fight Over ‘WAR SUX’ License Plate

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The state of Michigan has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a restrictive policy on personalized license plates.

The Secretary of State says David DeVarti of Ann Arbor can get a plate that says “WAR SUX.”  The agency also will stop enforcing a law that allows it to reject plates that could be “offensive to good taste and decency.”

It could develop a new policy.

A Grand Rapids federal judge approved the settlement Wednesday. In May, Judge Gordon Quist said the restriction was too broad and unconstitutional.

The state had defended its rejection of an anti-war license plate, saying children riding in cars needed to be protected from seeing “WAR SUX.”

Davarti, whose father fought in World War II, said he didn’t  understand how the state could believe anyone would be bothered by the plate.

“I think that’s ridiculous,” Devarti told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil. “In this day and age … I just don’t see it.”

In a court filing, state officials said the “vanity plates” are meant as a fundraiser — not as a forum for free speech.

In the state’s motion to dismiss, officials listed thousands of letter and letter-number combinations that are banned from plates, including “BADDAZZ,” “CRACKER,” and “ILUV69.”

[To see the complete list, click here, and scroll to the end of the document: Exhibit 4]

The state will pay $21,500 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which filed the lawsuit.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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