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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

License Plate Insulting to Missouri Fans Upheld

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - A Kansas Jayhawks fan can keep the personalized license plate on his vehicle that insults the Missouri Tigers, a state appeals court ruled.

Toby Gettler had a personalized plate that stated "MZU SUX," shorthand for saying that Mizzou Sucks. After receiving a complaint, the Missouri Director of Revenue attempted to recall the plate based on the claim that the use of the word "sucks" is obscene and referred to a sexual act.

Gettler challenged the decision, citing, among several examples,, the Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary's definition of the word, which is "to be objectionable or inadequate."

The Administrative Hearing Commission found in favor of Gettler on Oct. 1, 2012. On Thursday, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District upheld the commission's ruling with a unanimous decision against the Director of Revenue.

"Competent and substantial evidence supported the AHC's determination that Gettler's license plate was not obscene to the average person applying contemporary community standards," Chief Judge James Welsh wrote for a three-judge panel.

The Missouri-Kansas rivalry is one of the oldest in college sports. Its roots lie in the Civil War when a militia out of Missouri led by William Quantrill burned and sacked Lawrence, Kans., on Aug. 21, 1863.

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