SCOTUS To Hear Gilbert Church's Arguments Monday

By Al Macias
Published: Monday, January 12, 2015 - 5:05am

A small church and the Town of Gilbert will have their day in court Monday — the United States Supreme Court. At issue is the church’s right to post road side signs announcing its religious services.

The pastor of the Good News Presbyterian Church, Clyde Reed, argues that Gilbert's sign code is discriminatory because it limits the size, amount of time and number of signs the church can post before the pastor’s services.

Until 2008 the town’s code barred non-commercial signs from being posted more than two hours before an event. The town says the code did not violate the pastor's First Amendment rights because it did not discriminate based on content.

The pastor was first cited in 2005 and then again in 2007. He sued after the second citation saying his First Amendment rights had been violated. In 2013 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the town’s favor.

Gilbert amended its sign code in 2008 but that did not end the case.