From the Associated Press, this afternoon:

New Jersey’s Motor Vehicles Commission has bowed out of a 7-year legal battle and is quietly offering license plates with the slogan “Choose Life.”

The plates are available through the Children First Foundation, which first tried to get them approved in 2003.

I sensed the hand of pro-life Governor Chris Christie, particularly after reading the Children First Foundation appealed to him in August to intervene.

Gov. Christie’s office referred me to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. Spokesman Michael Horan said the MVC “made the decision on its own.”

But, he added, “Our new commissioner basically saw that the issue had been going on for 6 years in the courts and decided rather than expend any more resources, we would approve the plate as we would any other organizational plate.”

New commissioner? I asked if Gov. Christie appointed Ray Martinez.

Yes, Moran answered, and he is also part of the the governor’s cabinet.

That said, Martinez rejected a similar plate when he ran New York’s DMV, according to, which prompted another lawsuit, still unresolved.

So, whether it was Gov. Christie’s pro-life belief or austerity push – or both – I think his influence was felt here.

The NJ Choose Life plate joins 22 others already on the road.

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