CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS v. REAGAN NATIONAL ADVERTISING OF AUSTIN, LLC, ET AL. | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS v. REAGAN NATIONAL ADVERTISING OF AUSTIN, LLC, ET AL.

Supreme Court Cases

596 U.S. ___ (2022)

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Case Overview

Legal Principle at Issue

"[W]hether, under this Court’s precedents interpreting the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, the City’s regulation is subject to strict scrutiny."

Action

"The City’s on-/off-premises distinction is facially content neutral under the First Amendment."

Facts/Syllabus

"Like a great many jurisdictions around the country, the City of Austin, Texas (City), specially regulates signs that advertise things that are not located on the same premises as the sign, as well as signs that direct people to offsite locations. These are known as off-premises signs. The City’s sign code at the time of this dispute prohibited construction of new off-premises signs. Ibid. Grandfathered off-premises signs could remain in their existing locations as 'nonconforming signs,' but could not be altered in ways that increased their nonconformity. On-premises signs were not similarly restricted.
Respondents, Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, and Lamar Advantage Outdoor Company, L. P., own billboards in Austin. When Reagan sought permits to digitize some of its billboards, the City denied its applications. Reagan filed suit in state court, alleging that the City’s prohibition against digitizing off-premises signs, but not on-premises signs, violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause."

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