A tiny church in Arizona will soon have its case heard by the Supreme Court. Good News Presbyterian Church is going against the town of Gilbert to challenge the town’s restrictions on signs.
Good News Presbyterian is made up of a few dozen people who gather at a senior center and rely on signs to point residents in the direction of their meeting place.
According to Gilbert’s town code, the church may only set up signs 12 hours before a service. The signs also have size requirements and cannot be larger than six square feet.
Other signs in the town, such as political campaign posters, are permitted to be up to 32 square feet and have stayed up for five months in some cases.
Arguing that the town codes were in violation of freedom of speech, Good News Presbyterian’s pastor, Clyde Reed has hired lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom to take the case.
Previously the case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which ruled in favor of the town.
Judge Paul Watford disagreed with the ruling, saying that the code considers political speech more valuable that other speech "and therefore entitled to greater protection from regulation than speech promoting events sponsored by non-profit organizations. That is precisely the value judgment that the 1st and 14th Amendments forbid Gilbert to make."
Publication date: September 26, 2014