Truck nuts, also called truck nutz, are plastic or metal accessories for pickup trucks (and other vehicles) which resemble a pair of dangling testicles. They are attached under the rear bumper or trailer hitch of the vehicle so they are visible from behind.
In 2007, a proposal was made by Maryland politician LeRoy E. Myers Jr. in order to prohibit motorists from "displaying anything resembling or depicting 'anatomically correct' or 'less than completely and opaquely covered' human or animal genitals, human buttocks or female breasts". He referred to the testicles as "vulgar and immoral," and stated that his proposal was made at the request of a resident who was offended by the accessory. On January 15, 2008, Virginia Delegate Lionell Spruill proposed Bill HB 1452, which would prohibit truck owners from displaying or otherwise equipping their vehicles with devices resembling human genitalia. In April 2008, Florida lawmakers launched an additional attempt to ban truck nuts, making their display punishable by a $60 fine.
In 2011, a 65-year-old South Carolina woman was ticketed by the town's police chief for obscenity for adorning her pickup truck with truck nuts. The case, originating in Bonneau, S.C. (population approximately 480), was pending jury trial on her $445 traffic ticket. As of July 2012, her case had been continued three times and had no new trial date set. According to the Above the Law legal analysis blog, the ban was discussed in the ABA Journal and presented constitutional freedom of speech questions. The stated position of the Honolulu Police Department in 2013 from their city corporation counsel's office concerning obscene bumper stickers is, "It may be tasteless but it's protected as free speech." This is because it does not violate the First Amendment, nor is it specifically stated as against the law.
- Blair, Zachary, "Junk in the Trunk: A Queer Exploration of Truck Nutz as Contemporary Material Culture," paper presented at Queertopia, Northwestern University Graduate Student Conference, Chicago, IL, 2009.
- Rein, Lisa (February 23, 2007). "Fake Private Parts Are No Joke, Myers Says". Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Delegate Lionell Spruill, Sr. (December 2008). "HB 1452 Display of offensive objects or devices; prohibited on any vehicle.". Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Lewis, Bob. "Watch what you put on trailer hitches". Associated Press – via HighBeam (subscription required).
- Peltier, Michael (2008-04-25). "State moves to ban fake testicles on vehicles". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "Hanging of 'Truck Nuts' Grows into a Free Speech Debate". Fox News. August 2, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Dills, Todd (August 3, 2011). "‘Truck nuts’ in litigious fire in South Carolina". Overdrive Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- McCue, Dan (August 3, 2011). "South Carolina Astir Over Giant Truck Nuts". Courthouse News Service.
- Munday, Dave (July 27, 2011). "Obscenity case will be heard by jury". The Post and Courier - Charleston, SC. Archived from the original on 2012-01-31. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- Phillips, Tony (July 11, 2012). "Truck Nuts a No-No in South Carolina". The Huffington Post (blog). Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Elie Mystal (July 28, 2011), "Is A Ban on ‘Truck Nuts’ Unconstitutional?", Above the Law (blog)
- Watanabe, June (September 18, 2013), "Offensive decor on vehicles counts as protected speech", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Oahu Publications Inc. – via ProQuest (subscription required)