Despite what you may have heard, there are limits to free speech.
In Minneapolis, for example, it’s eight square feet. That’s the total square feet allowed for any political lawn sign.
And a similar ordinance — this one in Haverhill, Mass., north of Boston — is at the center of a debate over a person’s free speech on his own property.
Haverhill’s zoning ordinance on the subject is much more lenient than, say, Minneapolis. There, you can have 32 square feet of signs , so Richard Early III has taken all 32 feet of freedom to express his support for Donald Trump. And more.
He’s got a 4-by-8 foot sign that reaches the amount he’s allowed. But he didn’t stop there.
“My small signs (1 by 2 feet) do say ‘Trump/Pence Make America Great Again,’ of which I have seven of those, and six that say ‘Trump for President,”’ Early tells the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. “The signs they are calling into question don’t say ‘for president.’ And I paid for these signs out of my own pocket. The Trump campaign did not pay for them.”
That’s all in addition to the banner out a second-floor window.
Add all the signs together and you’ve got more than 300 square feet.
The city is threatening to fine him $300 a day.
“If they came to me in January or February, maybe I would have done something,” Early said. “My point is all of a sudden Trump is gaining a little momentum and here we go ….”
“I’m not offending anyone with my signs, well, maybe the Hillary supporters, but they have their own property and I have my own property,” he tells a Boston TV station.