The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (defendant) permitted nonprofit organizations to design their own specialty license plates. If the DMV approved the design, the DMV would offer the personally designed plate to drivers. The State of Texas took ownership of all approved designs. The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Sons) (plaintiff) designed a license plate that depicted a confederate flag. The DMV rejected the design because public comments deemed the design offensive. Sons brought suit against the DMV and members of its board, alleging that the rejection constituted a violation of the Sons’ First Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.