Tenth Circuit Revives Establishment Clause Challenge to Oklahoma’s Indian Arrow License Plate (UPDATED)

Here is the opinion in Cressman v. Thompson. Update — Now with dissent: 12-6151

An excerpt:

This appeal concerns an image stamped on the standard Oklahoma license plate ofa Native American shooting an arrow toward the sky. Appellant Keith Cressman objects to the image as a form of speech and wishes not to display it on his personal vehicles.But Oklahoma law imposes sanctions for covering up the image, and the state charges fees for specialty license plates without it—fees that Mr. Cressman does not want to pay. Because he must either display the image or pay additional fees, he argues that the state is compelling him to speak in violation of his First Amendment rights.

And the briefs:

1-Cressman Opening Brief

2-Oklahoma Answering Brief

3-Cressman Reply

Lower court materials here.

7 thoughts on “Tenth Circuit Revives Establishment Clause Challenge to Oklahoma’s Indian Arrow License Plate (UPDATED)

  1. Helen N. June 11, 2013 / 2:36 pm

    So, I think it would be fair to say that Mr. Cressman is Caucasian (identifying as such) or at the very least, Christian. What if a state wants to put the Christian cross on a license plate…then those who oppose such a symbol could sue? Where will the line be drawn as to what is personal beliefs versus public? And at what point do we reach pseudo – religious beliefs…??? How frustrating…that people need public recognition.

  2. Jim Diamond June 11, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    Mr. Cressman sure is going to great lengths to avoid paying the $18 that it costs to get a license plate that does not offend his christian beliefs. His suit may have been saved for the day by the 10th circuit on procedural grounds, but he’s going to have a tough road ahead to win on his “compelled speech” theory based on our “In God We Trust” currency etc.

  3. Helen N. June 12, 2013 / 1:42 pm

    Joseph Campbell spent a lifetime considering the Power of Myth. It abounds everywhere. Mr. Cressman is giving power by pursuing his claims against something that he purports to not believe.
    It should be a dead end road…

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