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Virginia DMV wages war on Iraq veteran’s vanity license plate

- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2013

"ICUHAJI." That's the root of a legal battle between Iraq war veteran Sean Bujno and the commonwealth of Virginia.

The "I See You, Haji" message is objectionable to Arab-Americans, the Department of Motor Vehicles states, according to an Associated Press report. The DMV revoked the license plate in 2011, saying it could be interpreted as ethically offensive, AP said.

Mr. Bujno fought the DMV — and won. Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John Brown said in November 2012 the DMV couldn't deny the license plate on the argument that it seemed to denigrate those of a certain nationality, the AP reports. He ordered the DMV to reinstate the plate.

So the DMV did. But now the DMV is pursuing revocation of the plate using a different reason. In a letter to Mr. Bujno, DMV officials now claim the plate encourages violence and is vulgar, the AP reports.

"That couldn't be further from the truth," said Andrew Meyer, Mr. Bujno's attorney, according to AP. "He really means it respectfully. Some might see [Haji] as a slur, but it's not."

Haji simply refers to someone who's made the pilgrimage to Mecca, Mr. Meyer added, according to AP.

The matter is set for another hearing before DMV officials in March, according to AP. Mr. Meyer will argue a free-speech angle, AP says.

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