Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Plainfield Sign Ordinance To Be Modified

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that in light of a recently filed ACLU lawsuit, it appears as if the City of Plainfield is going to change its ordinance which limits the size of political yard signs and the time those signs can be in people's yards.

That's a good move. Even a first year law student would know that such an ordinance would not survive a constitutional challenge. First, the case law is clear that any time, place and manner restriction on speech has to be content neutral. Not only that, political speech is given maximum protection under the Constitution.

I am reminded of the old state law saying that said "political slates" to be passed out on Election Day, which slates have list more than one candidate, need to be approved 30 days in advance by the county election board. Following the 2002 election, I, along with Indiana Right to Life, was a plaintiff in a first amendment free speech case that overturned that law.

It's a wonder there is some people have trouble understanding that political speech receives maximum protection under our Constitution. Plainfield is wise to reverse direction. The only question I wonder is why it took so long.

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