OLYMPIA, Wash. (CN) – The Washington Supreme Court held that the Seattle Housing Authority may not enforce a regulation prohibiting tenants from posting signs on their apartment doors because it restricts residents’ free speech.
The SHA adopted the rule to prevent residents from posting incendiary signs, such as swastikas and nude images, though the regulation also bars constitutionally protected artwork, flags and political messages.
The housing authority rejected the idea of a limited regulation, claiming it would like be ineffective in reducing the burden and costs of tenant disputes.
The high court disagreed. “A total ban on signs is unnecessary to support the claimed interest,” Justice Johnson wrote.
The court upheld an injunction barring the SHA from enforcing the regulation. See ruling.