Small business owners sue to stop Waller’s unconstitutional mural ordinance that violates the First Amendment
October 12, 2023
Waller, Texas; October 12, 2023: Today, a Texas business filed a federal lawsuit challenging the City of Waller’s unconstitutional mural ordinance that prevents them from creating murals for local business owners.
“Tilt Vision Art and its artists have a right to earn a living through artistic expression,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Joshua Polk. “The government cannot restrict this right or expressly discriminate against an artist’s expression based on its commercial content.”
Tilt Vision Art is a husband-and-wife-owned business that unites artistry and entrepreneurship, selling original artwork and creating vibrant, attractive murals for its clients, all the while promoting art-based economic development and making art accessible to the public.
A local Waller business hired Tilt Vision Art to create 13 murals for its buildings. Owners Brad Smith and Kay Ray-Smith were excited for the opportunity to help revitalize one of the Lone Star State’s older communities. But less than three months and three completed murals later, a Waller resident complained to city council members that the colors used for one mural were too bright. The city council responded with a heavy-handed mural ordinance that bans murals on commercial building fronts, murals used as advertisements, and those containing any type of “commercial messaging.” This ordinance violates the First Amendment and should be struck down.
The case is Tilt Vision Studios, LLC, et al. v. The City of Waller, Texas filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.