ACLU to represent Delaware resident for censorship of vanity license plate
MILTON, Del. – The ACLU of Delaware has announced that it is representing a Delawarean who was censored for a vanity license plate.
Kari Lynn Overington’s vanity license plate, “FCANCER” was recently recalled by the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles. Her lawsuit is currently pending in the Federal District Court of Delaware and challenges the Delaware DMV’s decision as censorship of her First Amendment rights to speech and expression.
In December 2020, Overington applied for the vanity license plate and received it in the mail two months later. In June 2021, she received a letter from the Delaware DMV saying they were recalling the license plate because it “does not represent the division or the state in a positive manner.” Over the course of several weeks, Overington tried to advocate with state officials to allow her to continue using the plate, but was unsuccessful.
In 2021, she filed a lawsuit in federal district court without an attorney, and a judge recently rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the case, claiming it raised a “significant constitutional issue.”
Overington released the following statement on the case:
“As a cancer survivor, the fight to end cancer is extremely personal to me. I was shocked when the DMV recalled my license plate because fighting cancer in our communities is imperative, and a message I assumed everyone would embrace. Before my license plate was recalled, I received encouragement from other cancer survivors, family members of those lost to cancer, and many other community members. My license plate was an important message to others like me whose lives have been touched by cancer: that you are not alone. As my license plate declared that we have to fight cancer, I will also fight to make sure I can continue to provide that message to my community.”