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Linmark Associates, Inc. v. Township of Willingboro

Citation. 431 U.S. 85, 97 S. Ct. 1614, 52 L. Ed. 2d 155, 1977 U.S.
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Brief Fact Summary.

The Respondent, Township of Willingboro (Respondent), prohibited homeowners from displaying “For Sale” signs in their yards.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

“For Sale” signs are a form of protected commercial speech that serves as a communication between homeowner and purchaser.


The Respondent prohibited the posting of home sale signs because it alleges that the number of houses being sold in the neighborhood was causing the white citizens to leave. The Respondent claims a goal of promoting a stable, racially integrated neighborhood.


Is this restriction on signs constitutional?


No. The restriction bans the free flow of information between buyer and seller.


The Respondent has shown no legitimate interest in the exchange of this information. The reason cited refers to implied data communicated by the signs that might cause the readers to act “irrationally.” Therefore, the restriction is unconstitutional.

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