Bloomberg Law
April 21, 2022, 2:50 PMUpdated: April 21, 2022, 6:52 PM

Supreme Court Eases Speech Regulations in Billboard Case (2)

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

The U.S. Supreme Court walked back one of its rulings that has caused headaches for local governments on rules for signs and billboards.

The court on Thursday upheld an Austin, Texas, ban prohibiting businesses from off-location advertising on digital billboards or signs, saying it doesn’t impermissibly restrict speech.

In attempting to clarify the court’s 2015 decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the 5-4 majority refused to lower the bar for content-based restrictions. Such laws treat speech differently based on what something says and are presumptively unlawful.

Unlike the rules struck down in Reed, Austin’s “off-premise distinctions requires ...

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