Court%u2019s Free-Speech Expansion Has Far-Reaching Consequences - The New York Times. A stupid ordinance in an Arizona town has given the Supreme Court the opportunity to clarify that governments may not regulate speech based on topic; that is, governments cannot say that speech on one topic (say religion) are prohibited or regulated and speech on another topic (say political ads) are not. The second big bombshell in this ruling is the finding that regulations on speech must be viewed with what the Court called "strict scrutiny"; meaning that the government must prove a valid governmental purpose for the regulation. Putting the burden of proof on the government is a good thing. Those of us who value the First Amendment above all others, and believe that we shouldn't be regulating speech in the first place, except in extraordinary circumstances, believe the decision is the right call. How an Arizona town thought that they could prohibit religious signs but not political signs is beyond reason. But, it gave the Court the opportunity to bring some clarity to the entire free speech argument. Remember Reed v Town of Gilbert. You will hear the case name again.Now, if, in this wacky political season, we can all learn to disagree without being disagreeable, there may be hope for us yet.