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Kentucky man wins 3-year court battle to put 'IM GOD' on license plate

A federal judge ruled that a Kentucky man's rights were violated when the state told him he couldn't personalize his license plate to read "IM GOD."

In 2016, Ben Hart, a self-identified atheist, tried to get the vanity plates, but Kentucky's state transportation department rejected his application. The Associated Press reports that Kentucky has approved license plates that read "TRYGOD" and "NOGOD," but the state said Hart's phrase went against anti-discrimination guidelines.

Hart, with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, took the state to court. On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court judge in Frankfort ruled in favor of Hart, saying personalized license plates are private speech, and protected under the 1st Amendment. Hart said he got the idea for "IM GOD" after seeing the same phrase on a license plate in Ohio.