There has been a lot of talk lately about defending our Constitutionally protected rights. A proactive Sheriff does more than talk.
Tonight I addressed the CDA City Council about portions of the city code that violate the first amendment rights of Coeur d’Alene residents.
This is the heart of the matter:
The City of Coeur d’Alene has a sign ordinance that places additional restrictions on political signs, such as limiting when they may be displayed. Restrictions on speech, based on sign content, are generally unconstitutional under Reed vs. Town of Gilbert (2015).
A few of my supporters have been ordered by CDA code enforcement officials to remove politicals signs from their private property.
I have consulted with counsel, and we do not feel the applicable city code will stand up to strict scrutiny under Reed v Gilbert.
I informed Mayor Widmyer and the City Council that I have thus far attempted to resolve this issue discreetly through the City Attorney. I also stated I would not merely ignore the ordinance as others have done; however, I can not stand by while the rights of citizens are violated. To that end, I am prepared to seek a declaratory judgment.
I was pleased with Mayor Widmyer’s responsiveness to this matter; he agreed to get back to me by Friday.