Neighborhood Mosque

A city in Michigan properly negotiated a consent decree to permit the construction of a mosque in a residential neighborhood, the Sixth Circuit ruled. Citizens’ First Amendment rights were not violated when the mayor cut off public comments that were irrelevant to zoning considerations, such as commenters’ preference not to “live near Muslims.”

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Sex Shop Zoning Law

The Eighth Circuit ruled that an Arkansas zoning law that prevents “adult-oriented” businesses from opening within 1,000 feet of schools is constitutional. A sex shop compared itself to CVS and Walgreens, but the items regulated by the zoning law are not staples of those general stores, so the shop’s equal protection claim failed. 

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California Sprawl

The Center for Biological Diversity sued Los Angeles County for approving “a new, sprawl city on Los Angeles County’s rural northern border with Kern County”: 19,333 houses and 8.4 million square feet of commercial and industrial use on 12,323 acres of California’s largest remaining native grasslands, atop the San Andreas and Garlock faults.

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