Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
City of Ladue v. Gilleo
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
An ordinance of the Petitioner prohibits homeowners from displaying any signs on their property except “residence identification” signs, “for sale” signs, and signs warning of safety hazards. The Respondent owns a single-family home and placed on her front lawn a sign printed with the words “Say No to War in the Persian Gulf, Call Congress Now.” After the Respondent’s sign disappeared and a subsequent one was knocked down, she reported the incidents to the police. The Respondent was informed that the signs were prohibited and the City Council denied her petition for a variance. The Respondent then filed an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging Petitioner’s sign ordinance violated her First Amendment constitutional right of free speech. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ordinance and the Respondent then placed a sign in the second story window of her home stating “For Peace in the Gulf.” The Petitioner responded to the injunction by r epealing its ordinance and enacting another one containing a general prohibition of “signs” and defining the term broadly. The new ordinance included a prohibition of window signs. The Respondent amended her complaint to challenge the new ordinance and the District Court held the ordinance unconstitutional as a “content-based” regulation. The Court of Appeals affirmed concluding that Petitioner’s interests in enacting its ordinance were not sufficiently compelling to support a “content-based” restriction.
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