International Sign Association Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court
This could be very important to the sign and print market and the International Sign Association is working to solve this vital issue at the supreme court level. Read the details below.
What is an Amicus Brief?
Literally, friend of the court. A person with strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but not a party to the action, may petition the court for permission to file a brief, ostensibly on behalf of a party but actually to suggest a rationale consistent with its own views. Such amicus curiae briefs are commonly filed in appeals concerning matters of a broad public interest; e.g., civil rights cases.
They may be filed by private persons or the government. In appeals to the U.S. courts of appeals, an amicus brief may be filed only if accompanied by written consent of all parties, or by leave of court granted on motion or at the request of the court, except that consent or leave shall not be required when the brief is presented by the United States or an officer or agency thereof.
An amicus curiae educates the court on points of law that are in doubt, gathers or organizes information, or raises awareness about some aspect of the case that the court might otherwise miss. The person is usually, but not necessarily, an attorney, and is usually not paid for her or his expertise. An amicus curia must not be a party to the case, nor an attorney in the case, but must have some knowledge or perspective that makes her or his views valuable to the court.
If the 5th circuit’s decision is upheld by SCOTUS in early 2022, the impact on our industry and in every community in the United States would be profound. – ISA
International Sign Association Comment
For the second time in six years, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will be deciding a case involving sign regulations. First it was Reed v. Town of Gilbert in 2015, now it’s City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising.
However, the Austin v. Reagan case has a far more direct impact on our industry and on-premises signs than Reed ever did, which is why ISA has filed an amicus brief (commonly known as a “friend of the court” brief) representing the on-premises sign and graphics industry in support of overturning the Austin v. Reagan decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The lower federal court had ruled in August 2020 that the traditional regulatory distinction between on-premises and off-premises signs (billboards) was content-based and therefore likely unconstitutional. ISA has long contended that the long-standing distinction between on-premises signs and billboards that cities and states have been using for decades is location-based, not content-based, and should be allowed.
If the 5th circuit’s decision is upheld by SCOTUS in early 2022, the impact on our industry and in every community in the United States would be profound.
Please contact ISA’s David Hickey with any questions.
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