Local governments use sign ordinances to muzzle free speech and expression

Local governments are monitoring citizens’ sign posting at their residents and businesses and fining them for expressions that are protected under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in the 2015 decision Reed v. Gilbert that towns cannot enforce ordinances against signs that discriminate on the basis of content. Yet  towns all over the U.S. are objecting to political signs on lawns and businesses’ colorful murals. (Forbes, July 30, 2019, by Andrew Wimer of the Institute for Justice)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Town of Fraser, Colorado for asking a resident to take down anti-Trump signs and a sign expressing alarm about global warming that violate the town’s sign ordinance. One stipulation in the ordinance restricts yard signs to one every six square feet. (The Denver Channel, July 25, 2019, by Ivan Rodriguez)

For prior FAC coverage on the issue, click here and here.