On June 18 the US Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision regarding temporary signs.
In Reed vs The town of Gilbert, it ruled that Gilbert, Arizona, had violated the First Amendment by placing strict limits on the size of signs advertising church services. The town ordinance was found to be discriminatory because it allowed other types of temporary signs, such as political signs, to be much larger and remain in place far longer.
In other words, the town’s sign code discriminated against certain signs because of the message on the sign.
Specifically, Gilbert’s sign code restricted the size of the religious signs to 6 square feet, and they could be in place for only a few hours. By contrast, political signs could be 32 square feet in size, without the time restrictions placed on the church signs. And some other types of temporary signs could be up to 80 square feet in size.
This sweeping decision may affect many, many sign ordinances across the country. It remains to be seen.