ACLU challenges city’s panhandling permit requirement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and three people who beg for money at traffic intersections are suing a southeast Louisiana city that requires permits for panhandling.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in New Orleans says the city of Slidell’s requirement violates the panhandlers’ First Amendment rights.

The suit asks that the court block enforcement of the permit requirement and declare it unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs in the suit are three Slidell residents: Gary Blitch, identified in the suit as an Army veteran; David Knight and Daniel Snyder. The suit says all three beg for money on city streets, usually at high-traffic intersections, almost every day.

The suit was filed Monday. The city attorney did not immediately reply to a telephoned request for comment.


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