Friday, September 22, 2023

Junk Gets No First Amendment or VARA Protection

junkcar.sanmarcos The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi) has rejected an artist’s claim that a painted junked-car filled with plants is protected by the First Amendment and the Visual Artists Rights Act. Fifith Circuit Chief Judge Jones stated that the city of San Marcos, TX, has the authority and justification for enacting an ordinance to eliminate eyesores, including wrecked and inoperable cars. The regulation itself, stated Jones, is content-neutral and narrowly tailored to protect public health and safety. The artists’ claims fail, Jones added, because the planter is an advertisement that’s not protected by VARA. Why is the sculpture advertisement and not sculpture? Opinion here.


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