HARRISBURG - In response to a lawsuit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Littlestown Borough agreed today to a temporary court order allowing residents to display political signs freely while the lawsuit moves forward.
“The town has realized that it’s in a no-win situation,” said Kenneth Frock, who is a Littlestown resident and is one of two plaintiffs in the case, along with Virginia Frock, his wife. “I still think that they have a lot to learn about dealing with the taxpayers who pay their salaries.”
The lawsuit challenges a borough ordinance that bans political signs except for signs posted thirty days before and three working days after an election. The ordinance also requires that signs be no larger than six square feet. This prevented the Frocks from displaying a sign that read, “We refuse to yield to ‘Gestapo’ tactics of Littlestown Borough” in response to the Borough’s handling of a disputed water bill last summer. It also prevented Mr. Frock, an Air Force veteran, from displaying an anti-war sign in his yard this winter.
The lawsuit asks the Borough to rewrite its ordinance to pass constitutional muster.
“The ordinance is clearly unconstitutional,” said ACLU-PA staff attorney Valerie Burch. “If we can’t exercise free speech in our own front yards, where can we?”
A copy of the court order temporarily suspending the ordinance can be found here.