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Ohio ACLU requests appeal of Youngstown begging law
Group argues that the law violates the First Amendment.
by WKSU's LAUREN BLUE


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Lauren Blue
 
According to the ACLU Youngstown's panhandling law is too broad, however the city claims the law deals with conduct not protected by the first amendment.
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The ACLU of Ohio has sent a letter to the city of Youngstown asking them to appeal a law that they say violates the First Amendment. The law bans begging within city limits. Joseph Mead is an attorney who is working with the ACLU. He says the law is too broad.

LISTEN: Mead on the Youngstown law

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“Both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which covers Ohio have held that there’s a constitutional right to ask for charity, and Youngstown’s ordinance bans that anywhere in the city. I think it’s a pretty clear and straight forward first amendment violation.”

Martin Hume, director of the Youngstown Law Department maintains the law deals with conduct not addressed by the Supreme Court.         

 

LISTEN: Hume on the Youngstown law
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“I don’t think that that most people would disagree that there’s certain types of aggressive panhandling that should not be allowed. One of the ways that we might want to consider is making it more conduct-based and not speech-based.”

The city says they are reviewing the law and will make amendments if needed to comply with the First Amendment.  

 
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