Refining 'Reed: City of Austin' Updates Test for Content-Based Speech Restrictions [May 2, 2022] [open pdf - 761KB]
From the Document: "The Supreme Court's April 21, 2022, decision in 'City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC' [hyperlink] is the latest development in the Court's free speech jurisprudence on content neutrality. Content neutrality is important because it largely determines the level of scrutiny that a court would apply to a law regulating speech in a First Amendment challenge, with content-neutral laws receiving less rigorous scrutiny than content-based ones do. In this case, the Court held [hyperlink] that the city's restriction on 'off-premises' signs--signs advertising or directing readers to businesses or activities at another location-- was content neutral on its face because it regulated signs based on their location rather than their subject matter or topic. This Sidebar provides a brief overview of how the Court's standards for evaluating content neutrality have changed over time. It then discusses the 'City of Austin' decision and why the case could have implications beyond sign ordinances, potentially paving the way for broader location- or function-based regulation of speech, including online speech."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10739
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/