January 14, 2015
Serendipity happens, so it seems, as it relates to matters before the United States Supreme Court. With approximately 10,000 petitions for certiorari submitted each year, and fewer than 100 cases heard, a little luck or coincidence certainly can help in getting a case considered.
So it is fortuitous that the same week, this week, this firm filed its petition for certiorari in Frank Wagner v. City of Garfield Heights before the United States Supreme Court, that august body was hearing oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert dealing with the exact same issues — whether a municipality can regulate and discriminate among the content of various types of temporary signs. Or, as articulated in the Plaintiff’s petition for certiorari before the US Supreme Court:
Does Gilbert’s mere assertion of a lack of discriminatory motive render its facially content-based sign code content-neutral and justify the code’s differential treatment of Petitioners’ religious signs?
Tuesday morning, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Town of Gilbert case, and by all accounts looked quite disfavorably on the Town’s regulatory scheme. You may read more about that oral argument here.
In any event, if the United States Supreme Court sides with the Plaintiffs in Town of Gilbert, there is a fair chance — serendipity — that they will take time to visit the Wagner decision as well.