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-Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Arizona Church and Free Speech

by Dr. D ~ June 19th, 2015

the-reeds

  (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a small church in Gilbert, Arizona that was having problems with city over their street signs. The city restricted and threatened the church with fines over their temporary street signs but did not subject political or commercial signs to the same rules. SCOTUS ruled that the city’s regulations were discriminatory and unconstitutional. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

…The town of Gilbert, Arizona’s restrictions on Good News Community Church’s signs advertising church events violated freedom of speech because they were "content-based regulations of speech," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on behalf of all nine justices.  …

The church was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, …ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman, who argued before the court in January, said…

"The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling is a victory for everyone’s freedom of speech. Speech discrimination is wrong regardless of whether the government intended to violate the First Amendment or not, and it doesn’t matter if the government thinks its discrimination was well-intended," he said. "It’s still government playing favorites, and that’s unconstitutional."

<Read the whole article>

Response: This Supreme Court rarely rules unanimously on anything. Not only that, but SCOTUS overturned the 9th Circuit decision and also a lower federal court.  In this case, the city was restricting free speech regardless of their intention.

This does give hope to churches around the country that are being regulated and treated differently than others under local jurisdictions.               *Top

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2 Responses to -Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Arizona Church and Free Speech

  1. Brian

    It should be remembered that this is the same town that has, on previous occasions, sought to hinder or restrict Christian religious activity (and, specifically, evangelical activity). For example, there was an incident several years ago where Gilbert sought to prevent home Bible-study groups from meeting.

    Brian

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian,
    Actually the worse city for violating religious liberty is also the largest in Arizona- Phoenix.
    Authorities there sent a pastor to jail for 60 days for holding a Bible study in his home. Also they tried to restrict church bells and giving out water as a ministry.

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