Army veteran fighting to get ‘INF1DL’ license plate

Army veteran fighting to get ‘INF1DL’ license plate

Posted: Updated:

(FOX NEWS) -- A retired Army sergeant in Detroit was refused a vanity license plate with the word "INF1DL," because Michigan's Department of State determined that the word may carry a connotation offensive to good taste or decency under the Motor Vehicle Code guidelines.

Michael Matwyuk, who served 22 years in the Army and fought in Iraq, recalled how fellow soldiers eventually embraced the word "infidel," which they were oftentimes referred to by enemy fighters. These soldiers, he said, would celebrate the term and stick the word on clothes and even tattooed the word on their bodies.

Matwyuck, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and hearing loss, says the rejection has infringed on his First Amendment right and has since teamed with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan to fight the decision.

"A message on a vanity license plate may be brief, but that doesn't mean there are fewer constitutional protections," Dan Korobkin, an ACLU attorney, said. "The "good taste and decency" standard can be interpreted at the whim of officials in charge at any given moment and therefore it's anybody's guess what message will survive the review process. This subjectivity is exactly what our First Amendment was designed to guard against."

The complaint, which was viewed by FoxNews.com, says Matwyuck seeks a declaratory judgment, permanent injunction, and compensatory or nominal damages

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Minimum wage rally today

    Minimum wage rally today

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:29 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:29:32 GMT
    Today's rally starts at 11am in the Capitol overflow parking lot at the Governor's Mansion.
    Despite already being approved by Governor Mary Fallin, the fight over minimum wage in Oklahoma is not over. Today, those upset with the new law that prohibits cities from setting their own minimum wage are planning to rally.
  • Oklahoma House overwhelmingly approves ban of sex offenders from parks

    Oklahoma House overwhelmingly approves ban of sex offenders from parks

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 9:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 01:08:59 GMT
    The Oklahoma Senate chambersThe Oklahoma Senate chambers
    The Oklahoma Senate will soon be considering a bill, overwhelmingly supported by House Representatives, that would will ban sex offenders from state parks.
    The Oklahoma Senate will soon be considering a bill, overwhelmingly supported by House Representatives, that would will ban sex offenders from state parks.
  • Millions of dollars in physical education grants awarded to Oklahoma

    Millions of dollars in physical education grants awarded to Oklahoma

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:22 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:22:42 GMT
    Millions of dollars in grant money is headed to two schools in the Metro. The grants come from the US Department of Education to be used specifically for physical education.
    Millions of dollars in grant money is headed to two schools in the Metro. The grants come from the US Department of Education to be used specifically for physical education.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.