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Does blocking a conferedate flag on a license plate violate free speech?




This image provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shows the design of a proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate.  The Supreme Court on March 23, 2015, will weigh a free-speech challenge to Texas’ decision to refuse to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag. Specialty plates are big business in Texas, where drivers spent $17.6 million last year to choose from among more than 350 messages the state allows on the plates.  (AP Photo/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)
This image provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shows the design of a proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. The Supreme Court on March 23, 2015, will weigh a free-speech challenge to Texas’ decision to refuse to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag. Specialty plates are big business in Texas, where drivers spent $17.6 million last year to choose from among more than 350 messages the state allows on the plates. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)
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In a case that gets to the heart of the government's role and free speech, the Supreme Court takes up a Texas case today that looks at whether a group should be able to put a confederate flag on a license plate.

The Lone Star State's chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans wants a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag, along with the group's founding year and name. The state of Texas says the image is a racially charged symbol of repression.

We're joined by Sanford Levinson, professor of law at the University of Texas, Austin and author of numerous books, including "Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies."