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Anti-porn group sues cabinet over "In God We Trust" plate

FRANKFORT — A Kentucky anti-pornography group has sued the state Transportation Cabinet and two legislators for turning down its application to sponsor a specialty license plate with the motto "In God We Trust," reports The Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

The Louisville-based Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana claims in a lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court that the Transportation Cabinet erred in 2008 when it denied its application for the license plate.

In its application, ROCK said it would use money from sales of the plate to raise awareness about harm caused by pornography and the sex industry and to help people hurt or victimized by porn, sexual predators and the sex business.

If approved, the plate would cost $34, but buyers could volunteer to add $10 that would go to ROCK.

In the cabinet's response, attorney Allan Weiss of Louisville asked the court to dismiss the complaint because ROCK promotes religion, making the organization ineligible to sponsor a specialty license plate under state law.

He noted that ROCK says in its complaint filed March 9 that its purpose is "to defend and sustain the Judeo-Christian principles upon which our country was founded and create a wholesome environment in which all families can flourish."

Weiss also said the complaint is invalid because the cabinet has sovereign immunity from such lawsuits.

Sovereign immunity is the legal theory that government is composed of the people, who cannot sue themselves for damages. Immunity does not apply to all governments, however, and it can be waived.

Mark Brown, a spokesman for the cabinet, declined to comment further about the lawsuit.

The two legislators named as defendants in ROCK's lawsuit have not yet responded to the suit. Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Crestwood, and Rep. Hubie Collins, D-Wittensville, are chairmen of the legislature's transportation committees, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader

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