Citing First Amendment, ACLU of Ohio Urges Local Officials to Revise Political Sign Ordinance

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
February 10, 2004 12:00 am


ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Ohio
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLEVELAND – Saying that the city of Willowick’s requirements regarding political signage violate residents’ free speech rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today urged officials to revise its sign ordinance to comply with constitutional standards.

The policy requires residents of Willowick — a city of nearly 15,000 located 17 miles east of Cleveland — to remit a deposit of $100 dollars before any political sign can be displayed. The city recently removed a political sign from the yard of a resident who failed to post the deposit.

“”The City of Willowick has clearly overstepped its bounds in regulating the use of signs,”” said Erin Reiffer of the ACLU of Ohio. “”This permit scheme is patently unconstitutional, and should not be allowed to continue.””

Cities are allowed to place some reasonable restrictions on the time, manner and place that political signs are displayed. However, the courts have struck down many such limitations as unacceptable encroachments on free speech rights.

The ACLU has battled local governments for 40 years over the fundamental right of political speech. Local governments frequently try to regulate the use of signs for political speech during election season for various reasons that are not legitimate, from their aesthetic impact on neighborhoods to political reasons, the ACLU said.

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The Latest in Free Speech

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Free Speech

Free Speech issue image

Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.