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Circuit Upholds Oakland’s Billboard Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Ninth Circuit upheld Oakland's ban on new billboards near freeways and other restrictions on advertising signs.

Desert Outdoor Advertising claimed the ordinances kept it from putting up three freeway billboards in violation of the First Amendment. It argued that the restrictions favor commercial over noncommercial speech, impose content-based restrictions on noncommercial speech and give city officials "unbridled discretion" to allow or veto the signs.

A three-judge panel held that one provision of the municipal code banning freeway billboards was a content-based regulation of noncommercial speech, but upheld the ordinance after the unconstitutional provision had been severed by the district court. See ruling in Desert Outdoor Advertising v. Oakland.

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