“Our constitution does not permit government to restrict speech in a public forum merely because the speech may make listeners uncomfortable,” the appeals court wrote. “The First Amendment does not allow the City to restrict speech in a public forum merely because listeners might prefer not to hear a message that may annoy them or make them uneasy.”
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Phoenix Panhandling Law Invalidated
The Arizona Court of Appeals has invalidated a Phoenix ordinance that banned panhandling at night. The court, applying intermediate scrutiny, held that the ordinance was not narrowly tailored owing to the fact that it banned peaceful, non-threatening forms of solicitation. It rejected Phoenix's argument that the government could protect people on the public sidelwaks and streets from unwanted and uncomfortable encounters.