Although the law on this issue could not be more clear, every few years another municipality adopts an unconstitutional sign ordinance that places special restrictions on the right to place a political sign in your own front yard. Recently the problem arose in Macomb Township, which passed a new ordinance in March 2014 barring residents from placing political signs on their own property more than thirty days before an election and requiring their removal within seven days after an election. The township imposed no such limitations on signs advertising non-political events; political speech was singled out for disfavored treatment.
In June 2014, the ACLU of Michigan wrote a letter notifying the township that if they did not immediately repeal the ordinance, the ACLU would likely go to court to enforce the First Amendment rights of a township resident. After we met with the township’s attorney, the ordinance was repealed.
In October 2014, Ypsilanti Township stopped enforcing a similar ordinance in response to an ACLU letter.
(ACLU Attorneys Dan Korobkin and Michael J. Steinberg; Cooperating Attorneys David Radtke and Gayle Rosen.)