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Eye On Boise

Thu., Jan. 2, 2014, 4:43 p.m.

Judge blocks portions of Boise panhandling ordinance on 1st Amendment grounds

Boise’s anti-panhandling ordinance, which was to take effect today, has been blocked in part by a federal judge. KBOI2 News reports that U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge cited the First Amendment in his 17-page ruling today. “Freedom of speech may be the most important right to protect in order to maintain our republic," he wrote. "The Court is mindful that citizens asking or even begging other citizens for money can make the person being asked feel uncomfortable and imposed upon. But in public places, all citizens must tolerate speech they don't agree with, find to be a nuisance, insulting or outrageous.”

He also wrote, “Certainly, the First Amendment can lead to public inconvenience and annoyance, but such is a minor price to pay when the non-aggressive solicitations at issue can easily be ignored or avoided. The public's interest in restricting a person from asking for money in a non-aggressive manner does not outweigh a person's right to make a request for a charitable contribution."

You can see KBOI2’s full report here. It includes a response from the city of Boise; city officials said they were pleased that the court didn’t strike down portions of the ordinance banning aggressive solicitation and solicitation in the roadway.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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