The city of Concord, New Hampshire, enacted an ordinance prohibiting all electronic messaging centers (EMCs), which are signs that display electronically changeable messages--illuminated text that can be changed frequently by scrolling or flashing. The city had found EMCs to be detrimental to traffic safety and community aesthetics.
Plaintiff Naser Jewelers, Inc., wanted to install an EMC at his store in Concord because after he had installed one at his store in Dover, his business increased by 18 percent. When he was denied a permit to install an EMC because of the ordinance, he sought a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the ordinance on grounds that it was facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment. A magistrate judge denied the request, and the denial was upheld by the district court. The district court upheld the ordinance under the rule that content-neutral regulations are constitutional provided that they are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest and allow for reasonable alternative channels of communication. The plaintiff appealed. How do you think the court of appeals ruled in this case and why?

  • CreatedOctober 21, 2015
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