The 1996 Telecommunications Act reduced the obstacles local governments may place on the installation of wireless facilities.
The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., denied Mark Abrams a permit to build a radio tower for wireless on his property. Abrams then filed suit seeking relief under the Telecommunications Act and damages under federal civil rights law.
A federal judge ordered the city to grant the permit under the Telecommunications Act, but refused damages under civil rights law. A federal appeals court reversed the latter part.
But the Supreme Court reversed the appeals court and sent the case back down for a new hearing. All the justices joined in the judgment or in the majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia.