Saturday, November 21, 2009

9th Circuit Won't Enjoin Church Sign Regulations, But Remands For Further Consideration

In Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, (9th Cir., Nov. 20, 2009), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a town's limitations on temporary directional signs are a content-neutral regulation that does not impermissibly favor commercial speech over noncommercial speech. It therefore affirmed the lower court's denial of a preliminary injunction to the Good News Presbyterian Church which claimed its First Amendment and Equal Protection rights were violated by the regulation. The church uses temporary signs to inform the public of the location of its Sunday services, held in an elementary school. However the court remanded the case for the district court to consider whether the regulation unconstitutionally favors some noncommercial speech over other noncommercial speech. Yesterday's Arizona Republic reported on the decision. (See prior related posting.)