Free Speech

Adam Liptak has a piece over at The New York Times worrying that the recent Supreme Court decision striking down an Arizona town’s signage ordinance will

roll consumer protection back to the 19th century.

I suppose one doesn’t have to worry about free speech rights if he thinks he is protected by the freedom of the press clause in the First Amendment.

4 thoughts on “Free Speech

  1. I didn’t read the story since I wasn’t going to pay for the privilege of doing so. I have been following this sign issue since it’s a hometown issue for me in the Phoenix metro.

    The basic element is that church temporary signs were being treated differently than commercial ones and the SCOTUS thought that wasn’t right. I happen to agree with their decision for a change.

    So, I’m puzzled why he thinks this is some horrible roll back of consumer protections…

      • No, the SCOTUS decision was not considering business owner rights, just sign ordinance particulars that the 9th Court of Appeals in San Francisco got so wrong. Following is the point explained in our local paper.

        The court ruling makes it more difficult for governments to treat signs differently based on their content, like Gilbert did when providing more leeway for political and ideological signs but less for church signs directing the public to Sunday services.

        That decision has far-reaching implications for most cities and local governments across the nation, where similar sign regulations will come under renewed scrutiny, experts say.

        “It’s almost universal,” said Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State Local Legal Center in Washington, D.C. “A majority of cities will now have to make some sort of change.”

        The result might not necessarily be fewer or more roadside signs, just less variety as governments make adjustments to treat different categories of signs the same way, Soronen said.

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