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Federal Judge: City's Billboard Ban Constitutional

A federal court judge ruled today that the city's ban on digital signs and supergraphics is constitutional. The tentative ruling is the first major court victory in the city's ongoing billboard battle since City Attorney Carmen Trutanich took office July 1.

"We would have been right back where we were originally," if the judge had sided with the huge outdoor advertisers instead, said Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight.

The latest challenge by Liberty Media Group, who owns several supergraphics around the city, came three days after the council voted unanimously in August to permanently ban digital billboards.

Arguments were heard this morning in front of Judge Audrey Collins, who had stopped the city from enforcing its 2002 off-site sign ban against several companies that have been cited for erecting supergraphic signs without permits.

If Collins found the city's ban unconstitutional it could have potentially opened up the floodgates to hundreds of controversial, widely opposed, digital billboards in Los Angeles neighborhoods.