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.