An Inflatable Giant Gorilla Is Not A Constitutional Right

Your “huh?” story of the day

The constitutional right to have a giant inflatable gorilla in a bathing suit and sunglasses grabbing consumer attention from a Houston business rooftop is the key issue in a trial that began in federal court on Wednesday.

Jim Purtee, owner of Houston Balloons & Promotions, is in court arguing the city of Houston violated his business’ constitutional right to equal protection in the arbitrary enforcement of city sign codes and should pay him damages of $938,241.

Purtee is fighting the city over an ordinance it stopped enforcing when he filed this lawsuit in 2006. But Purtee complains his customers remained antsy and he and his army of 450 inflatable eagles, rabbits, pumpkins, Santas and hot-air-balloon-shaped balloons have suffered for it.

“It cost us a lot of money and it wasn’t incidental,” he said.

A judge said the enforcement was arbitrary, the city says they enforced when someone complained. Using the equal protection clause is an interesting one, but, seriously, the Right to fly giant balloons? What’s your call?

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One Response to “An Inflatable Giant Gorilla Is Not A Constitutional Right”

  1. Joe CItizen says:

    Its obviously not a question about the right to fly giant balloons per se, but a question about whether the laws (on whatever subject) are to be applied equally to all.
    Its not so complicated….

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