10th Circuit revives case over Indian image on license plate

The Oklahoma license plate features the Sacred Rain Arrow sculpture by Apache artist Allan Houser (1914-1994). Image from Oklahoma Tax Commission

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a lawsuit over the Indian image on the Oklahoma license plate.

Keith Cressman claims the image violates his Christian beliefs. The 10th Circuit said his lawsuit raises a valid constitutional challenge.

"We agree that Mr. Cressman is being compelled to display the standard license plate image because he must choose between (1) prosecution and criminal penalties for covering up the image and (2) paying additional fees for specialty license plates that do not display the image," the unanimous ruling stated.

Cressman wants to be able to cover up the Indian image or to be allowed to install a personalized plate for the same cost as a regular plate.

The plate features an image of the Sacred Rain Arrow sculpture by Apache artist Allan Houser.

Get the Story:
Appeals court rules Oklahoma license plate suit has merit (The Tulsa World 6/12)

10th Circuit Decision:
Cressman v. Thompson (June 11, 2013)

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