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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            December 4, 2006  

Release No. M-130-06





The United States Supreme Court today denied an appeal in Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. City and County of Honolulu and left standing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision earlier this year that the City’s ban on aerial tow-banner advertising is constitutional.

The decision represents the end of litigation in which both the Hawaii District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected claims by the plaintiff that Honolulu’s prohibition of tow-banner advertising over its beaches and in its skies infringed free speech and equal protection rights. The courts below found that the ordinance was viewpoint-neutral and did not suppress ideas, noting that plaintiff and others had available ample alternatives to towing  aerial banners as means for expressing ideas.

“We’re elated with the high court’s ruling,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “It vindicates the economic, aesthetic and safety justifications advanced all along by the City in support of the ordinance.

 Honolulu’s ban on aerial advertising is intended to protect the City’s world-famous scenic beauty and its attractiveness as a tourist destination, and also serves to prevent potentially dangerous traffic distractions. We are pleased that the Supreme Court has left intact the rulings of the lower courts that recognize the importance of the City’s concerns.”

Hannemann also thanked the Outdoor Circle and Scenic America, Inc., which joined the City in defending the ordinance in the lower courts.   



            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Monday, December 04, 2006

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