CLG prevails in upholding First Amendment free speech rights in Flat Rock


Flat Rock, North Carolina, Sept 5, 2019The Cultural Landscape Group:Flat Rock (CLG), working with the Institute for Justice and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, has landed a huge victory in protecting Flat Rock citizens’ constitutional right to freedom of speech. In filings with the U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, the Village of Flat Rock has acknowledged that the village’s sign control ordinance (ordinance 102) is unconstitutional and must be amended in order to protect the free speech rights of village citizens.

“Beginning in January 2018, when CLG first asked the Village of Flat Rock to have the sign control ordinance reviewed by experts in First Amendment issues, we have only asked for changes that would support our constitutional right to freedom of speech and protect the beauty of Flat Rock,” said Anne Coletta, CLG president. “Unfortunately, that review did not happen, and what could have been handled quickly and easily by the village council necessitated legal action. We are pleased that the issue is now moving toward a resolution and we hope future village councils will respect their citizens’ constitutional rights.”

The current sign control ordinance remains in place while changes are being crafted. According to the court filing, those changes should be completed within 60 days.

We appreciate the support we have received from the Institute for Justice in bringing our concerns forward and the legal representation provided by Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Both of these organizations, along with CLG, will be working with the Village of Flat Rock on rewriting the sign control ordinance to comply with our First Amendment rights.

About CLG

The Cultural Landscape Group:Flat Rock is a citizen group dedicated to preserving the cultural landscape of Flat Rock in a way that reflects the character and history of the area. For more information, check or contact us at

About the Institute for Justice

The Institute for Justice, known as the National Law Firm for Liberty, is a nonprofit public interest organization that combines cutting-edge litigation, sophisticated media relations, strategic research, boots-on-the-ground advocacy and much more to fight on behalf of those individuals who are denied their constitutional rights.

About Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis is a global law firm with 2,500 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 15 offices around the world: Paris, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. The Firm is committed to providing legal services without charge to those who cannot afford counsel, with the goals of improving lives, bettering communities and deepening our attorneys’ professional experience. Kirkland attorneys pursue pro bono matters dealing with a variety of issues such as immigration, disability rights, civil rights, prisoner rights, death penalty cases and criminal appeals, guardianship, veterans’ benefits, and the representation of nonprofit organizations, among other areas. In 2018, Kirkland attorneys devoted more than 138,000 hours of free legal service to pro bono clients. Learn more about Kirkland’s commitment to pro bono and corporate social responsibility at


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