Supreme Court to Rule If Confederate Flag License Plate Is Free Speech

The United States Supreme Court will decide if a Texas license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag falls under free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Five years ago, Texas state motor vehicle officials rejected an application by the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the design of a heritage plate featuring the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag.

The Associated Press reports that federal appeals court judges ruled that the motor vehicle board violated the group's First Amendment rights. According to NBC News, Texas Governor-Elect Greg Abbott, who was attorney general at the time of the case, urged the lower court to rule against the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Now, the Supreme Court will decide whether state government's are allowed to decide what messages can be included on state-issued plates. The hearing will begin in March.