Judge Strikes Down Political Sign Ordinance
The New York Law Journal reports that Southern District Judge Kenneth Karas, ruling in Marin v. Town of Southeast, 14-cv-2094, blocked the Town of Southeast from enforcing a 2014 ordinance that treated political signs as different from other types of signs. Karas ruled in favor of Carla Marin, a Carmel lawyer and Putnam County Republican Committee member, who was charged in 2011 under an old version of the law for posting a "temporary political sign on her property more than five consecutive days after a political primary." (Read more: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202739220519/Political-Sign-Ordinance-Found-to-Violate-First-Amendment#ixzz3o6iju6ii)
This decision should not at all come at a surprise. Indeed, in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, 135 S.Ct. ___ (June 18, 2015) the Supreme Court held that the provisions of a municipality’s sign code that impose more stringent restrictions on signs directing the public to the meeting of a non-profit group than on signs conveying other messages are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny. Categories (restriction of speech based on content) of sign invokes strict scrutiny. See also Otterson v. City of Springfield, No. 13-3581 (7th Cir., Aug. 7, 2015) (prohibition on panhandling struck down as content discrimination)
The First Amendment applies to political speech. To hear more about recent First Amendment Supreme Court Cases, please visit http://www.lawline.com/cle/course/supreme-court-review-2015-first-amendment-seminar.