Court ruling "basically knocks our legal
arguments out right underneath us"
Johnny Lee Smith holds a sign asking for donations as he stands on the side of a road in Medford, Oregon.
The city of Medford, Oregon, has backed away from appealing a court decision that found the city's panhandling law unconstitutional. But the city's police chief told council members a new proposal to control begging is in the works.
"The 9th Circuit Court made a ruling that basically knocks our legal arguments out right underneath us," said City Attorney Lori Cooper.
The federal appeals court ruled the city of Seattle violated the free speech rights of a street performer named Michael James Berger by requiring that he obtain a permit before seeking donations in public places.
The Medford council voted in May to challenge an order by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia that found the city's law against begging unconstitutional. By a unanimous vote, council members voted to drop the appeal after hearing they likely wouldn't win and could be liable for court costs.
Read the Mail Tribune report here. And see previous post here.