Advice on Reed v. Gilbert Included in AACSRE Interdisciplinary Journal

An article in the 2017 Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, which is published biannually by the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE), offers advice for communities with regard to their sign codes in the aftermath of the SCOTUS Reed v. Gilbert 2015 decision. Written by Alan Weinstein, who is the director/professor of the Law & Public Policy Program at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, the article outlines the distinctions between “content-neutral” and “content-based” sign codes, and the resulting distinction between “intermediate” and “strict” scrutiny when evaluating a sign code.

Weinstein, who also serves on the AACSRE board, cites several examples of court cases that were reversed in the aftermath of Reed. He explains that definitions in sign codes are often the content-based culprits — “religious,” “real estate” and “political” signs for example — because their definition is purely based on their content. The entire article can be read at


Original photo by Tim Rudd

Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry and the former Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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Posted in 1st Amendment / Freedom of Speech, Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education, Content Neutrality (Reed v. Gilbert), Sign Codes, Supreme Court and tagged .