I Want to Believe: Licensing Religion in South Carolina
And it came to pass that in the State of South Carolina House of Representatives and Governor Mark Sanford intended to issue license plates picturing a gold cross and a stained glass window. The words "I Believe" were to span the top of the plate.
That was before December 11, when U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie ruled that the plates amount to state-sponsored religious preference. Currie ordered ordered the state to "take all actions necessary to preserve the status quo."
Religious leaders -- including Christians, Jews, Hindus and Arabs -- had sought the temporary injuction, which is subject to appeal. Currie said, however, that the case is likely to succeed in court as an example of the public's First Amendment rights barring governments from establishing a religion. The judge added that the "I Believe" license plates do not have a secular purpose, failed the test of neither advancing or inhibiting religion and failed to prevent excessive government entanglement with religion.
Henry McMaster, the state's attorney general, objected to the ruling, stating that the "I Believe" tag is "completely consitutional." He recommended an immediate appeal by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Named as defendants in the injunction are DMV director Marcia Adams and state prisons director Jon Ozmint (whose department was slated to make the plates."
In order for a special license plate to be produced, a minimum of 400 people must place orders or the Department of Motor Vehicles must collect no less than $4000.
Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer has posted the "I Believe" tag on his official Web site as representative of the state's values.and touts the plates because he said they reflect South Carolina's values.
At least 400 motorists must pre-order such special license plates or the DMV must collect $4,000 in order for the plates to be produced. 
Cars with "In God We Trust" license plates are already common on South Carolina highways. These display the American flag above the South Carolina banner.
 Burris, Roddie. "Judge orders S.C. to end production of religious-themed license plates." The Beaufort (SC) Gazette, December 11, 2008 http://www.beaufortgazette.com/lifestyle/wire/story/646094.html. Accessed on December 12, 2008.
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