REED ET AL. V TOWN OF GILBERT, ARIZONA ET AL.
Clyde Reed, pastor of Good News Community Church (Good News), rented space at an elementary school in Gilbert, Arizona, and placed about 17 signs in the area announcing the time and location of Good News’ services. Gilbert has an ordinance (Sign Code) that restricts the size, number, duration, and location of certain types of signs, including temporary directional ones, to prevent improper signage. After Good News received an advisory notice from Gilbert that it violated the Sign Code, Good News sued Gilbert and claimed that the Sign Code violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The district court found that the Sign Code was constitutional since it was content-neutral and was reasonable in light of the government interests. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed and held that, even though an official would have to read a sign to determine what provisions of the Sign Code applied, the restrictions were not based on the content of the signs, and the Sign Code left open other channels of communication.
Does an ordinance restricting the size, number, duration, and location of temporary directional signs violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?