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Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act

The Supreme Court heard South Carolina’s challenge to the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act today in Reno vs. Condon, Attorney General of South Carolina. The state of South Carolina challenged the 1993 law because it prohibits the state Department of Motor Vehicles from using vehicle license plate numbers to sell or disclose, without authorization, personal information such as names and addresses or phone numbers. The statute has already been reviewed by four courts of appeals, with two holding it constitutional and two declaring it unconstitutional. South Carolina’s state agencies, which used the sale of personal information as a source of revenue, claim the law usurps states rights to oversee states’ Departments of Motor Vehicles.

The Feminist Majority Foundation coordinated an amicus brief (with sixteen other organizations including the ACLU, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Women’s Health Organization) in support of the appellant to express to the U.S. Supreme Court how the law is vital to protecting women and reproductive choices in the United States.

The brief addresses how the law protects reproductive health care providers and patients who have been identified, stalked and even murdered by anti-abortion extremists who find personal information about their victims using license plate numbers. Along with how the law safeguards reproductive choices by protecting individuals’ personal information, the brief addresses the broader interest of women and how Congress has the right to enact preventive measures to protect women and ensure their ability to fully exercise their rights.

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation - November 10, 1999