This note examines the history of scarlet letter punishments. These types of sanctions raise many constitutional concerns; this Note will specifically address First Amendment compelled speech. Different standards of constitutional review for First Amendment violations and probation conditions will also be discussed. The note will also explain how Ohio's special license plate violates the First Amendment. Because the license plate is a legislative requirement that infringes upon free speech and eliminates judicial sentencing discretion, the state's interest must pass strict scrutiny. This analysis will confirm that the state's interest is legitimate but not compelling. The special license plate fails to effectively deter and its efforts to identify offenders is counterproductive. The special license plate also fails to meet the goals of Ohio probation: rehabilitation and reformation. Additionally, there are less burdensome and more effective means of meeting the government's valid goals.
Note, Have You Been Drinking Tonight Ms. Prynne - Ohio's Scarlet Leter for OVI/DUI Offenders: A Violation of First Amendment Protection against Compelled Speech , 59 Clev. St. L. Rev. 745 (2011)