Does the City of Scottsdale have the right to ban sign walkers? It’s an issue raising city vs. state sovereignty issues as the Arizona Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on both sides of the issue Wednesday. The city’s taken the state to court after a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge last

August ruled Scottsdale had no authority to prohibit commercial sign carriers from occupying sidewalks.

Scottsdale’s Attorney Bruce Washburn argues since, “the citizens of Scottsdale own the sidewalks “and the city manages this municipality, then it has the final say on whether to permit sign walkers on rights-of-way. “The state does not have power to control the city’s property”, he asserts. As for arguments the city is impeding business, he says, sign walkers are free to conduct their activities on private property or parking lots.

But Goldwater Institute attorneys defending the state say, regulating sign walkers is a police powers issue, which falls under state domain. Clint Bolick, representing the state, adds, sign walkers are also protected under free speech and the city has no right to undermine what’s constitutionally protected.

The Appeals Court is taking the issue under advisement.

–Barbara Villa