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Man With A Message Fights City Hall And Wins

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Jim Roos, all smiles after the appeals court ruling

Jim Roos, all smiles after the appeals court ruling

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The sign on the wall is free speech protected by the US Constitution, despite what city hall thinks. 

Jim Roos wins his case before a federal appeals court to keep his End Eminent Domain Abuse sign near Interstate 44 and 55.

Roos had the sign painted on the side of a brick wall to protest city hall’s efforts to acquire land in the area by eminent domain. 

A three-judge panel of the 8th U-S Court of Appeals says the city’s zoning code was being used arbitrarily to stifle a message.  The court ruled the same code could not be used to interfere with a sign containing religious content, so it can’t be used to ban Roos’ message.

“I think they lost partly because they allow some things, but they wouldn’t allow us,” Roos said, “If this said Go Cardinals, we don’t think we would have ever had a problem with it.”

Mayor Slay’s office released a statement from City Attorney Matt Moak:

“We are obviously disappointed with the Court’s ruling.  Federal appellate courts have differed on the points made in the ruling and we are examining our options. At no time has the City tried to quell free speech, but rather has tried to regulate aesthetics within legal bounds.” 

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