A recent case regarding a license plate titled COPSLIE was decided in favor of the license plate owner. Freedom of expression was okay so long as it did not offend too much.
The thing was the objections had been raised with regard to the license plate “COPSLIE”. Of course, the fact that it spelled out “cops lie” was held to be an offensive statement to the law enforcement authorities. The usual laws had prohibitions against obscenity and vulgarity.
David Montenegro applied “COPSLIE” vanity license plate application. However, Motor Vehicles authority rejected his application on the grounds that it accused police officers of "moral turpitude." The officials said “COPSLIE” was offensive to the good taste of a reasonable person according to DMV rules.
“Because the ‘offensive to good taste’ standard is not susceptible of objective definition, the restriction grants DMV officials the power to deny a proposed vanity registration plate because it offends particular officials’ subjective idea of what is ‘good taste,’” the New Hampshire Supreme Court wrote in a 5-0 decision on Wednesday.
Recently a case of a license plate spelling out “8THEIST” was also contested in the court of law. The problem is that one person’s normal fare is offensive to another man’s moral taste.
Ultimately, matters are even more complicated since it all depends on how you interpret something. There’s no accounting for individual predilections and there are as many opinions on a matter as there are people.
The fact, that a certain group of human beings finds the text of this license plate abusive and insulting to cops, does not mean that another one may not find it amusing or even the ultimate truth.
Morals as everyone knows are controversial things. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. What will make Jack squeal with pleasure many make his twin Jake cry out in pain.
And in this politically correct age, what we find offensive may have more to do with our own highly sensitive inner subjectivity rather than there being anything crude or rude in the outer environment.
With people not even preferring labels such as garbage cleaner or prostitute and choosing waste disposal expert and sex worker instead, there is obviously an intolerant attitude towards straightforwardness or honesty.
No one can call the color black as dark or the color white as fair in these days. It’s a case of over-effeminacy that we are seeing. You can’t even have any fun. Since the law is vague in the COPSLIE case, it is being condoned by default. There are some things about which the law ought to remain silent.