‘Giving offense is a viewpoint’: First Amendment protects ‘FCANCER’ vanity license plate and permanently bars Delaware from enforcing unconstitutional law, court rules

FCANCER license plate

Kari Overington’s “FCANCER” license plate (Image via GoFundMe/Kari Overington)

A Delaware woman has won her long battle with the state’s Divison of Motor Vehicles over an anti-cancer license plate that government censors fought for years to keep off the roads.

Kari Lynn Overington, 43, survived cancer and wanted the world to know. In 2020, she was initially granted a blue and gold “FCANCER” license plate — but six months later, the DMV changed its mind. An employee reasoned that the plate “does not represent the division and the state in a positive manner” and rescinded the vanity badge.

A long federal court battle ensued. Overington first appeared as a pro se litigant — without any legal aid whatsoever — using the boilerplate form for a lawsuit used by the Delaware District Court. Later, the American Civil Liberties Union and a private attorney joined her team as the constitutional case slowly moved through the legal system.

In the end, the First State lost to the First Amendment.

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