Last month, the ACLU of Delaware secured a victory in the case of Kari Lynn Overington, whose vanity license plate “FCANCER” was recalled by the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles in 2021. 

ACLU-DE stepped in to represent Overington in 2022 to protect her right to free speech and free expression. The Court sided with ACLU-DE, therefore protecting Overington’s freedom of expression as a bedrock principle of a free democracy, making this decision a great win for free speech.   ____________________________________________________________________________ 

By: Kari Lynn Overington  

Why was this case important to you?  

The First Amendment protects our fundamental right as Americans to express ourselves. When that right is violated, it is our responsibility to speak up and refuse to let our voices be silenced.   I was not the first person to have the Delaware DMV violate my rights but my hope with this case was that I would be the last. 

How was the ACLU of Delaware able to support you?  

I filed the initial legal complaint on my own and got the process started but it was through the hard work of attorney Dwayne Bensing, and the ACLU of Delaware, that my case received summary judgement in my favor. The ACLU provided the legal experience and expertise necessary to successfully challenge the state of Delaware. 

What does the win mean for you?  

This win is confirmation that the legal system works, and a single person standing up for their rights can make real change. When I was on my own defending my case against a motion from the defense to have the case thrown out, and the judge not only ruled that the case would move forward, but that the merits of the case were so compelling that I should have legal counsel to help me with my case, I counted that as my first win. That same day I was contacted by FIRE and the ACLU about joining me in my fight, which was my second win. I’d already been in contact with the ACLU about my case, so it just made sense to accept their offer of help, and I'm so glad I did. I've lost count of the many wins since then, but the conclusion of this case is the best win of all. I’m looking forward to receiving my updated vehicle registration, so I can reinstall my FCANCER license plate on my car and show the world once again that there is a fighter behind the wheel.