From the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland:
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced that the recall of Maryland license plates bearing the Confederate flag could begin this fall after a federal judge agreed on Thursday to lift a 1997 injunction that prohibited taking them out of circulation.
U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis issued an order on Thursday granting the Attorney General’s request to lift the 1997 injunction that prevented the recall of Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty tags.
“I look forward to the day when these plates are no longer on the road,” Attorney General Frosh said. “This flag is a painful symbol that divides us, conjuring images of hate and subjugation. It has no place in any contemporary government use.”
Maryland first attempted to recall the specialty plates bearing the logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the 1990s, but the U.S. District Court ruled at the time that the tags were protected as free speech under the First Amendment.
In June, however, the Supreme Court decided states could reject specialty license plates as a form of government speech. Attorney General Frosh, with the backing of Governor Larry Hogan, requested that the injunction be lifted.
The effective date of Judge Garbis’s order is Nov. 17.
Attorney General Frosh thanked Assistant Attorneys General Julia Doyle Bernhardt, Patrick Hughes and Neil Jacobs for their work on the case.