2000 - California DMV Cancellation of "Redskin" License Plate

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Moreover, the Legislature has given the Department discretion to reject requests for personalized license plates "... that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency (Vehicle Code 5105, subd. (b).) No violation of First Amendment rights results when the Department exercises its discretion to reject a request for a personalized license plates that is offensive to good taste and decency. (Katz v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1973) 32 Cal.App.3d 679, 684- 685.)

The testimony of Mr. Eugene Herrod as supplemented and explained by four declarations from knowledgeable persons along with the comprehensible opinion of the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision in Harjo v. Pro Football, Inc, supra., and the Utah State Tax Commission opinion in the McBridge decision, demonstrate that the word "redskins" is a term that, at a minimum, carries a negative connotation to a specific group.

5. It is not unreasonable to conclude that people of ordinary intelligence would interpret RDSKINS as meaning "redskins."

6. The weight of the evidence establishes that cause exists to cancel the environmental plates involved in this matter.

ORDER

Environmental License Plates RDSKINS as issued to Mr. George Correa and Ms Susan L. Correa are cancelled.

DATED: March 31st 2000

(signed)      Perry O. Johnson   
PERRY O. JOHNSON
Administrative Law Judge
Office of Administrative Hearings

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