A Ten Commandments sign on private property in East Texas could force changes at the state's Transportation Commission.
TxDOT told Jeanette Golden she was violating the Federal Highway Beautification Act with her sign posted inside her fence line off Highway 21 near Hemphill. However, Mike Berry and the Liberty Institute argued the state is violating her free speech.
“TxDOT said because she was engaging in commercial speech or advertising, she needed to have an advertising license,” Berry tells KTRH News.
That's when Berry and the Liberty Institute stepped in to help.
“TxDOT unequivocally stated the sign is located completely on her property, its not in the right-of-way, its not encroaching or anything like that,” he said.
Public comment is being taken through mid-July before the Transportation Commission makes a final decision.
“The agency that creates these laws was not contemplating the fact that citizens might want to engage in non-commercial speech on their private property in Texas, and didn't think to include that as an exemption or exception,” says Berry.