Five Things Businesses Can Take Away from the Supreme Court Signage Ruling
On June 18th, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on ‘REED ET AL. v. TOWN OF GILBERT, ARIZONA, ET AL. ‘. The case was brought against the Town of Gilbert after their code enforcement issued two citations against the Clyde Reed and the Good News Community Church for leaving their directional signs out more than one hour past the end of service.
The Town argued that the ordinances were not content based as their codes were based on the purpose (election signs, directional signs, ideological signs among a total of 23 categories of temporary signage) instead of a specific message. The Supreme Court decided that purpose is in itself is a type of communications. As written in the majority opinion:
We hold that these provisions are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny.
On its face, the Sign Code is a content-based regulation of speech. We thus have no need to consider the government’s justifications or purposes for enacting the Code to determine whether it is subject to strict scrutiny.
So, what does that mean for you as a business?