The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today that the city's ban on billboards is constitutional.
The panel of three judges found that the Los Angeles City Council did not violate the free speech rights of World Wide Rush and Sky Tag when it granted exceptions to its ban on billboards.
The 25-page ruling also overturned U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins preliminary injunction that blocked the city of Los Angeles from cracking down on dozens of gargantuan supergraphics that have been draped across the sides of buildings in violation of the city's ban on billboards.
In the summer of 2008, Collins ordered the city to stop citing World Wide Rush and Insite Outdoor Works LA until the outdoor advertising companies were given the opportunity to challenge the city's billboard laws. Collins declared that World Wide Rush was likely to win its lawsuit. World Wide Rush argued that L.A.'s 2002 billboard ban violated World Wide Rush's First Amendment right to free speech, and that city leaders were discriminating by forbidding “supergraphics” and billboards within 2,000 feet of freeways while making exceptions for other outdoor advertisers.
The ruling is another victory for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office that has been battling with World Wide Rush and Sky Tag for years.