If you live in New Jersey you've probably seen the subject of a new NJ Supreme Court decision. It's a 10 foot tall inflatable rat set up by striking union workers.
The case is State v. DeAngelo, decided February 5, 2009. The question for the court was whether striking workers violated a municipal ordinance by inflating the rat, allegedly in violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibited “balloon signs or other inflated signs (except grand opening signs) … displayed for the purpose of attracting the attention of pedestrians and motorists….”
In a unanimous decision the court found that the ordinance under which the workers were charged was both content-based and overly broad, both of which are problematic in First Amendment jurisprudence.
The net result: the Rat lives!
Thanks to Professor Mitchell Rubenstein at the Adjunct Law Prof Blog for bringing this decision to our attention.