FIRST AMENDMENT CHALLENGES TO ANTI-PANHANDLING ORDINANCES
Since early 2013, 43 Goodwin attorneys and paralegals across the United States have worked over 4,200 hours asserting the rights of homeless individuals in First Amendment challenges to antipanhandling ordinances. Some ordinances outlaw “aggressive” panhandling (which in some cases has involved quietly holding a sign asking for help near a bus stop), while others outlaw standing in median strips and traffic islands for any kind of expressive conduct. To date, these challenges have included one trial and three pending appeals.
“Eventually we hope to establish precedent throughout the country that homeless persons cannot be precluded from those locations that are actually conducive to seeking charity from their fellow citizens.”
Kevin Martin, Partner, Appellate Litigation Practice
“The attorneys at Goodwin secured a significant victory for freedom of expression, and for all people who use public spaces to communicate with their fellow citizens. Goodwin’s professionalism and skill were matched by their commitment to justice.”
Zachary L. Heiden, Legal Director, ACLU of Maine Foundation