On July 1, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Reed v Town of Gilbert, 13-502. The issue is whether the First Amendment allows local governments to put size and time limits on certain kinds of signs, and vastly more permissive limits on other types of signs. The government being sued is Gilbert, Arizona. The town permits political signs to be 32 square feet, and Homeowners Association signs advertising events and festivals to be 80 square feet. But a sign intended to direct passersby to other kinds of events must be no larger than 6 square feet.
In addition, political signs may remain in place for months, but certain other types of signs that refer to events can be posted only 12 hours before the event, and must be taken down one hour after the event. The case was brought by a small church congregation that does not have its own church building; instead it meets in schools. The church says it depends on its own signs to inform passersby of its services. Here is the cert petition. The church filed its cert petition on October 21, 2013. The oral argument will be late in 2014 or early in 2015. The town justifies the sign restrictions on the basis of safety and aesthetics.