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AUSTIN (AP) — A Texas appeals court has overturned a law that allowed state officials to regulate signs along highways and interstates, saying parts of the regulation violate free speech rights.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the 3rd Court of Appeals ruled the 1972 Texas Highway Beautification Act improperly regulates billboards and signs based on what they say.

The Austin-based court says signs are treated differently if they relate to elections, advertise activities at a business or point to a scenic or historic attraction.

The ruling, delivered Friday, was the result of a fight over a sign supporting Ron Paul’s presidential campaign that was erected in 2011 outside a business northwest of Austin.

The ruling does not apply to city and county regulations that place limits on billboards and other outdoor signs.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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