updated 2/15/2007 7:48:14 PM ET 2007-02-16T00:48:14

It's still going to be legal in Arizona for trucks to have splash guards with racist terms and silhouettes of naked women.

The House on Thursday rejected a Democratic amendment that would have banned splash guards with "images that are obscene or hateful."

The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Ed Ableser of Tempe, said he'd seen a splash guard that used the word "pickaninny" — a derogatory term for black children — and said his proposal was intended "to make sure those individuals that have hateful motives don't express or push those images upon others in our communities."

Rep. Theresa Ulmer, D-Yuma, supported the amendment and said it fit with lawmakers' other efforts to crack down on pornography and sexual predators.

"I personally am tired of explaining to my 11-year-old son why they (women) are depicted on mud flaps, but not all women are 36Ds. He's very confused by that," Ulmer said. "But seriously, this is about family values — what are we going to send out as a message to our children."

No law on 'hateful'
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, opposed the amendment, saying it probably violated First Amendment protections for free speech and that "hateful" isn't defined by law.

Democratic Rep. Ben Miranda of Phoenix voted for the amendment but said he did so only because he felt compelled to do so because a vote against it could be misconstrued.

The amendment, Miranda said, would "stretch the Constitution today beyond limits that it was ever intended to be stretched."

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said the First Amendment "is a wonderful and broad amendment" but courts have ruled that obscene items aren't protected.

Ableser's amendment, rejected on a 19-31 roll call vote, would have been added to a bill (HB2316) sought by the Arizona Trucking Association to change Arizona's height requirement for rear fender splash guards. The bill was given preliminary approval and now awaits a formal House vote.

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