Is this license plate obscene? The Santa Fe Motor Vehicle Division thinks it is, but one man in New Mexico is fighting the department with a little thing called the US Constitution.
Robert Anaya's vanity plate, which reads "IB6UB9," has been dubbed "controversial" by media outlets like KOAT and was revoked by the agency after apparent complaints since it was issued in 2008. The plate appears to be an acronym for "I be 6, you be 9," a reference to a sex position.
Even though Anaya maintains that the plate is an inside joke between him and his friends, his lawyer says it doesn't matter.
"If you allow the government to start chipping away at our constitutional rights, it can have more serious implications in the future," attorney Leon Howard told the station. "Mr. Anaya feels bullied by the MVD."
Howard told the Albuquerque Journal that to find a plate obscene, it must be found to be "intolerable" by constitutional standards.
"What [Anaya] has is some vague meaning that has a personal meaning to him," Howard said, noting that the MVD shouldn't issue any plates with 6 and 9 in succession if it is to revoke Anaya's. "Even then the executive branch cannot change the Constitution."
In a letter to Anaya, MVD director Mark Williams wrote that the department has the responsibility to weigh an individual's First Amendment right to free speech against the public's right to be protected against offensive language, the paper reported.
Anaya has appealed the decision to revoke the license plate and is waiting for a hearing. In the meantime, he's using a generic license.