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Political yard signs OK'd in 2 Detroit suburbs

By The Associated Press
10.20.04

DETROIT — Residents of two Detroit suburbs can erect campaign signs outside their homes without fear of prosecution.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gadola issued a temporary injunction Oct. 18 overturning a Troy city ordinance allowing residents to display no more than two political lawn signs at a time. Gadola said the American Civil Liberties Union’s case against the city had “a strong likelihood of success.”

“Judge Gadola’s opinion strongly reaffirms the principle that residents have a First Amendment right to express political views at their own homes,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, in a statement.

“An ordinance that permits residents to display unlimited Halloween decorations and numerous commercial signs, yet only two political signs, is clearly unconstitutional.”

In a separate but related case, the city of Grosse Pointe Woods voted Oct. 18 to revoke the portion of its campaign-sign ordinance that bans signs until 30 days before the election. The vote settled the ACLU’s case against the city.

“I think we found a good balance between free speech and visual pollution,” Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke told the Detroit Free Press.


Previous
Yard-sign rules contested in another Detroit suburb
ACLU says Troy violated free speech by ticketing man for Bush sign. 09.28.04

Related

ACLU campaigns for Michigan towns to allow political yard signs

'We have a long record of making ordinance decisions based on aesthetics,' says Ferndale city manager. 07.03.04

Federal judge halts Michigan city's time limit on yard signs
Meanwhile, conflicts are springing up across the country over statutes that restrict campaign signs. 09.20.04

Town’s political yard sign restriction struck down
Ordinance allowing lawn signs to be posted only for 30 days before elections ruled unconstitutional. 07.22.05

Kan. man fined for anti-war signs in his yard
Prairie Village resident appeals ticket, arguing that ordinance restricts political speech. 12.28.05

W. Va. town's political-sign law held unconstitutional
Ordinance restricts time during which temporary signs may be posted within city limits. 03.24.06

Kansas City suburb may go back to drawing board on sign rules
Federal judge blocks enforcement of Prairie Village, Kan., ordinance used by city to cite resident for anti-war yard signs. 09.05.06

Political yard signs

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