Court Orders Phoenix to Stop Censoring People for the Super Bowl

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(The Goldwater Institute) The Goldwater Institute scored a major victory for residents and business owners in downtown Phoenix this morning when an Arizona trial court judge ruled that the city’s Super Bowl Censorship Ordinance violated their free speech rights and unconstitutionally delegated power to the National Football League (NFL) and Super Bowl Host Committee.

The ruling came just weeks after the Goldwater Institute sued the city over the ordinance, which barred residents from placing signs on their own property without first getting approval from the NFL and the Host Committee—two private entities that were empowered to choose what kind of speech people were allowed to engage in. Declaring the ordinance “an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and an unconstitutional delegation of power,” the court gave the city 48 hours to review businessman Bramley Paulin’s request to put up an advertising sign at his business—and to do so without restricting what he’s allowed to say.

Phoenix officials first adopted the Super Bowl Censorship Ordinance last fall, declaring a section of downtown a “clean zone” in which people were prohibited from putting up a sign without having it reviewed and approved by the NFL and the Host Committee. Because those are private businesses, though, the ordinance effectively gave for-profit companies the unrestricted power to choose what messages they were willing to allow…

VICTORY! Court Orders Phoenix to Stop Censoring People for the Super Bowl