Should Billboard Cases Rely On Metromedia Ruling?

Law360 (September 5, 2018, 1:49 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's 1981 decision in Metromedia Inc. v. City of San Diego[1] is acknowledged as the leading case on sign regulation.[2] Courts routinely cite the Metromedia plurality opinion as authority for deferential review of restrictions or outright bans on offsite commercial signs.[3] But Metromedia is an odd precedent. The court's fractured 4-2-3 decision produced no majority opinion, and nonmajority opinions are not binding.[4] Marks v. U.S.,[5] decided in 1977, is the Supreme Court's leading decision on how lower courts should extract precedent from such fractured decisions.[6] One therefore would expect that before following Metromedia as mandatory authority for 37...

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