Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Kinda Love

From ARTINFO: "Artist Ed Stross is facing 30 days in jail, two years probation, and a $500 fine for adding the word 'love' to his own mural in Roseville, Mich., a Detroit suburb." The ACLU is apparently making a last ditch effort to get the case re-heard.

The Legal Satyricon describes how we got here. It seems the Michigan Court of Appeals had overturned Stross's conviction on the grounds that the ordinance in question was an unconstitutional restriction of his First Amendment rights. But the Michigan Supreme Court reversed, on timeliness grounds:

"At the time defendant’s variance was granted, then-current MCL 125.585(11) required a party to challenge the constitutionality of the variance within 21 days. Defendant’s painting the word 'LOVE' on the sign clearly violated the 'lettering' condition of the variance. Because this statute prescribed the relevant procedure for challenging the constitutionality of the conditions, defendant was obligated to challenge these conditions in accordance with this procedure. His failure to do so precludes him from raising his constitutional challenge eight years later."