Lawsuit: Huntsville billboard guidelines violate free speech legal guidelines | Enterprise Information

A city in northern Alabama illegally restricts signs because of their content, in violation of free speech laws. This is based on a lawsuit filed by a company that operates electronic billboards and other signs in Alabama and Georgia.

In a recent federal lawsuit, the New South Media Group said the city of Huntsville had turned down numerous requests for their signs.

The city’s sign regulations favor some groups over others and are unfair in how they view the content of messages that appear on signs, the company said in the lawsuit.

“The city has been advised that content control by government officials is in violation of freedom of speech, including the plaintiff. However, the city has chosen to bypass clear decisions of the United States Supreme Court regarding signage,” it said the lawsuit.

Typically, the city does not comment on litigation outside of court records, Huntsville spokeswoman Kelly Schrimser said in an email. The city has not yet responded in detail in the court records.

The company’s business partners include private companies, as well as nonprofit groups and government agencies such as the Alabama Department of Public Health. Alabama and other states across the country are stepping up efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, using social media, television, radio, and message boards to reach the public.

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