3rd Circ. Questions Court’s Role In Drafting SEPTA Ad Policy
October 24, 2019
Types : In the News
A Third Circuit judge on Wednesday questioned whether a trial court should have taken it upon itself to redraft the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s advertising policies after determining the agency had unconstitutionally barred messages about discriminatory lending practices.
Maryellen Madden, an attorney representing SEPTA with Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, said that the unifying principle for allowable advertisements was generally whether they were focused on promoting the sale of goods or services.
“What we try and do is figure out whether it’s a political message and whether it’s advocacy,” she said.
But Madden said SEPTA had a fulsome process for reviewing advertisements that could potentially violate the policy. The process included inspection by the contractor responsible for filling the agency’s ad space, a SEPTA ad manager, and, ultimately, the agency’s general counsel.
“We take every ad and we drill down, we look at the ad, we understand it, and we make a determination,” she said.
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