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The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit in Denver after the Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to approve a panhandling ban. The lawsuit seeks to block the new ordinance, and also seeks an immediate injunction against the new rules, which are set to go into effect next week.
Plaintiffs include advocacy organizations, a street musician, and a nonprofit theater group. The rules passed by a vote of 8-1, with councilman Val Snider as the lone ‘no’ vote. The ACLU argues the ‘no solicitation’ rules are too broad and violate free speech rights. City Attorney Chris Melcher said yesterday the ordinance is modeled after another city’s panhandling ban that has survived court challenges.
A link to the legal documents as provided by the ACLU is here.
You can also read the approved ordinance as found here, on the city’s website. (The link is for a .pdf, and the ordinance is Item 17 of Unfinished Business.)