Volokh dissects Supreme Court moves on yard signs

Oh, the intrigue involved with reading the smoke signals emanating from the U.S. Supreme Court!  For those who love the law, it can be fascinating to watch.

Today, the Court accepted for review  Central Radio Co. v. City of Norfolk, which examines the question as to whether an exemption from a sign ordinance for religious and governmental emblems renders the sign ordinance unconstitutionally content-based.

This question in Central Radio is similar to one the Court has been grappling with for several months in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, heard at oral argument on January 12 of this year.  There, the Court will decide if restrictions placed upon temporary signs due to their content is unconstitutional.  The Town of Gilbert gives favorable treatment to temporary political, ideological and other messages as compared to directional signs placed for church services.

Volohk speculates that SCOTUS’ plan is to “grant, vacate, and remand the case back to the Fourth Circuit” from whence it came in light of the decision in Town of Gilbert, coming before the end of this month.

We expect that the Court’s decision Town of Gilbert will impact on our pending case, Wagner v. Garfield Heights, addressing similar content-based issues.  That interrelationship is addressed here.

Read the Washington Post article analyzing the Central Radio case here.