begging ban overturned: Cincinnati City Council may appeal FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 28 May 1998 11:37:55 -0700 (PDT)


http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/upi/story.html?s=n/upi/98/05/27/general_new
s/uspanhand_1.html
FWD  Wednesday May 27  United Press International


     COUNCIL MAY APPEAL BEGGING BAN DECISION


CINCINNATI, May 27 (UPI) - The Cincinnati City Council will decide, as
early as this week, whether to appeal a federal court ruling overturning
two local ordinances targeting homeless people.

Deputy Cincinnati Solicitor Robert Johnstone told United Press
International today, ``I think there are substantial bases upon which we
could appeal it (to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals).''

Cincinnati U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jack Sherman ruled the
aggressive panhandling laws violate the First Amendment right to freedom of
speech.

Council member Phil Heimlich said: ``Laws that are almost identical to ours
have been upheld in courts in other cities. I am confident that the
ordinance will stand and strongly urge the city to appeal the decision.''

The ordinances restrict where and when beggars may ask for money and also
ban people from sitting or lying on business-district sidewalks between 7
a.m and 11 p.m.

Sherman said the ordinances were overly broad and restrict conduct
protected by the Constitution, adding that begging and panhandling are
expressive acts and are protected, while sidewalks constitute a traditional
public forum.

The ruling does not affect a third ordinance prohibiting aggressive
panhandling that coerces or intimidates people.

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