News Column

ACLU to Challenge Panhandling Ban

Nov. 28, 2012

John Schroyer, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday details on its legal challenge against Colorado Springs' recently passed ban on panhandling.

The ACLU is filing a lawsuit in federal court in Denver. It asks for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, claiming that the no-solicitation ordinance violates 1st Amendment rights. Lawsuit filed on behalf of:

--Greenpeace and Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission

--Star Bar Players, a nonprofit Theater group

--The Denver Voice, a newspaper

--James Binder, a local musician

--Ronald Marshall, a local disabled resident who asks for change from his wheelchair downtown

--Laurel Elizabeth Clements Mosley and Roger Butts

The so-called no-solicitation zone was approved by City Council on Tuesday by an 8-1 vote, and prohibits anyone from asking strangers for money.

The ordinance includes a 12-block radius centered on downtown Colorado Springs, including Acacia Park. It also forces panhandlers to stay at least 20 feet away from any business within city limits.

The ordinance will go into effect Dec. 7.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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