Judge Dismisses Panhandling Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon has dismissed the lawsuit brought against the city on behalf of panhandlers, Samantha Koon reports for the Daily Progress. (See instead CBS-19’s story, if you don’t have Progress access.) Attorney Jeffrey Fogel filed the lawsuit after city council passed a law prohibiting solicitation of people doing business with vendors or within 50 feet of the crossings. Government’s ability to limiting free expression is generally constrained to time, place, and manner restrictions, and those limitations must be content-neutral. Fogel’s argument was that those restrictions are not content-neutral, because they specifically prevent people from asking for money. Moon ruled that these are merely place-based restrictions, because people are still free to ask for money outside of those areas.

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