Arkansas ACLU sues over new state anti-begging law | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 7, 2017

Arkansas ACLU sues over new state anti-begging law

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 10:56 AM

click to enlarge FREE SPEECH: The ACLU argues that a state law aimed at discouraging panhandling runs afoul of the 1st Amendment.
  • FREE SPEECH: The ACLU argues that a state law aimed at discouraging panhandling runs afoul of the 1st Amendment.
The Arkansas ACLU today sued the Arkansas State Police to prevent enforcement of a new law intended to replace an earlier anti-begging law declared unconstitutional. The ACLU says the new law continues to unconstitutionally criminalize begging.

ACLU release:

“We understand that being asked for money can make some people uncomfortable, but making an end-run around the Constitution is not the answer,” said Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “The freedom of speech is a right guaranteed to everyone under the Constitution, including people who are down on their luck.”

“By censoring and even criminalizing people based on the content of their speech, this law violates the Constitution and infringes on one of our most fundamental freedoms,” said Bettina Brownstein, ACLU of Arkansas cooperating attorney.  “If we don’t defend unpopular speech, everyone’s free speech rights are at risk.”
The ACLU, suing on behalf of two people who face potential arrest for soliciting money, said the new law is drawn too broadly by criminalizing the act of asking for charity or a gift in "an aggressive or threatening manner."

The ACLU has also successfully sued Arkansas cities with anti-begging ordinances.  The plaintiffs in those cases, Michael Rodgers and Glynn Dilbeck, are again plaintiffs in the latest federal suit, which follows.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bipartisan deal to continue subsidies Trump ended. But ...

    Everyone's reporting that Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander have struck a bipartisan deal on to continue federal subsidies for health coverage that Donald Trump cut off.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    The open line, plus the day's news roundup.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

    Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks.But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Two plead in fraud of sheriff's office

    A former employee of the Pulaski County sheriff and a North Little Rock woman who sold goods to the sheriff's office have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme to steal from the sheriff's office, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation