Texas Division, Sons Of Confederate Veterans

897 WordsNov 23, 20154 Pages
In Walker III v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (2015), the Supreme Court concerns itself with the constitutionality of a decision by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board (the DMV Board) to reject the specialty license plate designs submitted by SCV and its members, and the Court addresses possible violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendment. Attorney Scott Keller appears for Walker, the petitioner, and attorney Roger George represents the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), the respondent. Four issues permeate the case: specialty license plates’ relevant form of speech; State control over the content of specialty license plates; specialty license plates as a limited public forum; and, ultimately, the potential violation of both the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “viewpoint neutrality.” In a divisive 5-4 decision, Justice Breyer delivers the Court’s opinion, while Justice Alito, joined by the Chief Justice, Justice Scalia, and Justice Kennedy, dissents, concerned with the Court’s interpretation of government speech and the precedent it sets. Attorney for the petitioner, Scott Keller, speaks first, citing Summum as precedent, and asserts messages displayed on license plates, like those displayed on monuments, are government speech. However, the attorney for the respondent, Roger George, contends the State created a “billboard opportunity” for personal messages when the specialty license plate program
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