AUSTIN (AP) — A Texas appeals court has overturned a law that allowed state officials to regulate signs along highways and interstates, saying parts of the regulation violate free speech rights.
The Austin American-Statesman reports the 3rd Court of Appeals ruled the 1972 Texas Highway Beautification Act improperly regulates billboards and signs based on what they say.
The Austin-based court says signs are treated differently if they relate to elections, advertise activities at a business or point to a scenic or historic attraction.
The ruling, delivered Friday, was the result of a fight over a sign supporting Ron Paul's presidential campaign that was erected in 2011 outside a business northwest of Austin.
The ruling does not apply to city and county regulations that place limits on billboards and other outdoor signs.
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