ACLU Begs Colorado Springs to Rethink Panhandling Proposal

Visitors to downtown Colorado Springs are besieged by panhandlers, according to city officials.  So they drafted an anti-solicitation law that prohibits begging in a designated area. Quicker than you can say "Got a quarter?," the American Civil Liberties Union issued a warning that the proposal may violate the First Amendment. "I would advise them not to pass this severely flawed ordinance," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.  Unspoken is the threat of an ACLU lawsuit, an uncannily accurate indicator that the city is on to something good. City officials don't seem worried by the ACLU's reaction, and they note that the proposed law is based on a Fort Lauderdale anti-begging statute upheld years ago by federal courts.  Colorado Springs' proposed statute will get a first reading and public hearing on Sept. 11. "What the downtown 'no solicitation zone' is seeking to do is not to prohibit content of...(Read Full Article)

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