Troubling Signs at the Supreme Court

Communities regularly distinguish between on-premises signs and off-premises signs, such as billboards. After the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, some courts held that off-premises sign regulations are unconstitutionally content-based under the First Amendment. However, the Court's recent decision in City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising upheld on-premises/off-premises sign regulations and urged a more limited reading of Reed that will affect local sign regulations nationwide. Hosted by ELGL's GovLove podcast, friends of the court will discuss the amicus briefs they filed for the National League of Cities, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and American Planning Association in Austin v. Reagan, and review the impact of this important case to help you review local sign regulations in response to the Supreme Court's recent First Amendment decisions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn to apply recent Supreme Court decisions to identify content-based sign regulations that are likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
  • Understand the potential impact of a Supreme Court decision — expected this summer — that may change the way local governments regulate on-premises and off-premises signs.
  • Review strategies local governments can use to respond to new First Amendment tests that courts will apply to sign and billboard ordinances.

The NPC Peer Reviewers assigned this presentation a learning level of Advanced. For more on learning level descriptions visit our General Information Page.