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U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Pastor In Gilbert Sign Dispute
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Gilbert pastor today saying the town’s public sign regulations illegally restricted his freedom of speech. The decision will have nationwide impacts.
At issue is the distinction the town of Gilbert made between “directional event” signs and other non-commercial signs, like political and ideological. Gilbert’s sign laws had required event signs, like the one’s Pastor Clyde Reed used to direct people to his church services, to abide by stricter regulations.
On Thursday, the supreme court justices ruled unanimously that code is unconstitutional because the regulations were based on content.
Reed said he’s grateful for the decision.
"This wasn’t the path that we set out to take," he said. "But I’m glad we pursued what was right and I’m grateful to God that he used us as an instrument to secure freedoms for others."
Michael Hamblin is Gilbert’s town attorney. He said officials will review the decision and begin drafting changes consistent with the Supreme Court's decision.
"And at that point, staff will draft a proposed amendment to the town’s code and bring them before the town council," Hamblin explained.
The next Gilbert town council meeting is July 30.