A Summary Judgment Of The Supreme Court 's Ruling Essay

A Summary Judgment Of The Supreme Court 's Ruling Essay

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This case is a summary judgment of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The Federal government enacted legislation (23 U.S.C § 131) to prohibit billboards within 600 feet of the right-of-way of federal interstate and major highways in 1958 and then strengthened in 1965. In rural areas, billboards were prohibited from been seen from highways. The Federal government allowed commercial and industrial areas “under agreements between the state and federal Secretary of Transportation.”
The City of San Diego enacted Ordinance No. 10795 on March 14, 1972, limited the location and types of billboard allowed in certain areas of the City. The ordinance sought to eliminate “hazards to pedestrians and motorists brought about by distracting sign displays” and preserving the City of San Diego’s appearance, the City instituted an ordinance that prohibited “outdoor advertising display signs.” The hope was that the action would support public safety and general welfare. Moreover, the City Council argued these goals are “proper objectives” that qualified for police power and intervention to further their objectives. There are two categories for exception to the rule: signs placed on the site of the commercial establishment, and if a sign falls under one or more of 12 categories (temporary political sign is an example of an accepted sign). The restriction was focuses in particular on ‘off-site’ signs defined as “those which do not identify a use, facility, or service located on the premises or a product which is produced, sold or manufactured on the premise.“ For all the existing signs that violate this distinction, the owners were afforded 90 days to 4 years to remove the sign depending on location and declining value.
The plaintiffs Metromedia, Inc., a...


... middle of paper ...


...San Diego 453 U.S. 490 (1981)).
The inconsistency of implementation across on and off site signage along with the difference between commercial and non-commercial signage defeats the ordinance. To avoid violating the first amendment, the City of San Diego could include a substitution clause that permitted the display of noncommercial billboards as outlined in Outdoor Sys., Inc. v. City of Mesa, 997 F.2d 604 (9th Cir. 1993). Furthermore, the Ordinance would be legitimate if it was “justified without reference to content of the regulation speech… and left ample alternative channels for communication of the information”(856) as cited in Virginia Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizen Consumer Council, 425 U.S. [748], at 771 [1978]. The Ordinance produced was simply too narrow and illustrated how police powers need to be equally enforced across jurisdictions and parties.

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