The Plain Dealer reports:
Frank Wagner has been waging a First Amendment crusade for years for the right to post a sign in his Garfield Heights yard in opposition to traffic cameras.
Tuesday, he lost that right following a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. . . .
Wagner, 54, led the city's successful "Ban the Cam" campaign in 2010, and the following year he erected a sign in his yard on Oak Park Boulevard critical of a city councilwoman who supported the cameras.
When former Councilwoman Tracy Mahoney complained to Mayor Vic Collova and the city building commissioner, William Wervey, they sent Wagner a warning notice:
His sign was in violation of a city ordinance that limited placards with political messages to six square feet. Wagner's sign was 16 square feet, and if he failed to take it down he risked being fined up to $1,000 a day.
Wagner removed the sign but filed a federal lawsuit against the city. In 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. ruled that the city's sign ordinance placed an illegal restriction on Wagner's free speech and was unconstitutional.
But the city prevailed in the 6th Circuit, where the judges reversed Oliver's ruling and directed him to enter a judgment in favor of the city.
"The city's political sign ordinance survives scrutiny because it serves significant government interests, is narrowly tailored to promote those interests, and leaves open alternative channels of communication," the court of appeals said in its 35-page ruling. . . .