A Chesapeake judge has ruled that the Department of Motor Vehicles shouldn’t have a revoked an Army veteran’s license plate that it said was offensive.
Sean Bujno’s personalized plate, “ICUHAJI,” was revoked last year because the DMV said it could be interpreted as socially, racially, or ethically offensive or disparaging.
The plate can be read as “I see you, Haji.” Haji is a derogatory term used by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to refer to Arab people.
The Virginian-Pilot reports Circuit Court Judge John W. Brown said that if the state lets people praise religion or ethnicity on their license plates, it also must let them denigrate them.
A spokeswoman for the DMV told the newspaper that the department is still reviewing the judge’s 14-page opinion.