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Sotomayor Once Ruled in Lamar's Favor in Billboard Case

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor once tangled with Lamar Advertising in the company's ongoing quest to turn every town in America into Times Square. She ruled in Lamar's favor.

In 2001, Lamar applied to put up 88 double-sided billboards in tiny Orchard Park, N.Y. The town turned the company down on the grounds that its permits only allowed a maximum of 40 square feet per sign, and that the town had no billboard ordinance to grant larger ads. Lamar's response? It claimed:

Defendant [Orchard Park] has a pattern and practice of violating the citizenry's First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights...
(Download Lamar's complaint against Orchard Park here.) In 2003, Lamar lost a ruling in district court. The judge there said Lamar had no jurisdiction to challenge Orchard Park's law. Lamar appealed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, where Sotomayor ruled that the order be modified -- Lamar did have standing, she said. The case was eventually settled and dropped in 2008.

BNET readers are familiar with Lamar's belief that the Constitution bans any laws from restricting its business. Lamar is suing Detroit for charging an administrative fee to cover the costs of regulating Lamar's billboards.

It also placed its own lobbyist on the South Dakota state Transportation Commission, and by amazing coincidence it only costs $32 in fees to put up a roadside billboard in that state -- far less than it costs to administrate the fee.

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