The McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals will hear a petition filed by State Rep. Jack Franks’ father for a sign near the entrance to his law office on Route 20.
The hearing will be held September 9th at 1L30 in the McHenry County Administrative Building.
As I remember the controversy, the sign in question has a verse from what Christians call the Old Testament.
Here’s the press release from the law firm’s web site:
September 22, 2008
Law firm Franks, Gerkin & McKenna today filed a motion asking the McHenry County Court to declare the local sign ordinance unconstitutional and to dismiss the charges recently brought against the firm.
In August 2007, the County charged the FGM law firm with violation of the Sign Ordinance because of the biblical saying above the firm’s front entrance which reads,
“Justice, Justice, Shalt Thou Pursue.”
It is from the Book of Deuteronomy and was placed above the firm’s front doors with the construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired building in the year 2000.
FGM argued that the Ordinance was unconstitutional on its face because it was vague, a prior restraint on speech, and an over broad regulation that is in violation of both the United States and Illinois Constitutions. The pleadings cited a long list of cases supporting that argument.
The law firm also alleged that the sign was exempted under the Ordinance’s clear language as a prior legal nonconforming use but also exempted under many of the exceptions listed in the Ordinance itself.
Jack Franks, partner in the law firm of FGM, believes that the ordinance poses a real liability to the county and that it is being applied in a discriminatory manner. According to Franks,
“I am happy that these arguments are finally before the Court because the ordinance is an infringement on our citizens’ constitutional rights and must be remedied. People of faith should not be discriminated against by their government, for expressing their ethical beliefs.”
For more information on how the team at FGM can help protect your constitutional rights, feel free to contact us at (815) 572-4256.
Sounds pretty harmless in view of the zoning controversy surrounding the mosque near Ground Zero.