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New Hampshire court says COPSLIE vanity license plate is protected by free speech

New Hampshire's highest court has ruled the state violated the free speech rights of a man who wanted "COPSLIE" on his license plate.

In a unanimous decision released Wednesday, the state Supreme Court agreed with the arguments of David Montenegro, who wanted the plate to protest what he calls government corruption.

State law prohibits vanity plates that "a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste." But the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union argued that the law is unconstitutionally vague and gives too much discretion to a person behind a Department of Motor Vehicles counter.

New Hampshire had argued that state workers were right to deny the plate, because the phrase disparages an entire class of people — police officers.

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