A group for our forgotten class. Personal stories, information and ideas for survival as well as fighting back.
Lets End Poverty, lets expand SS, SSI, SSDI and begin to fight for the implementation of FDR’s second Bill of Rights! (I take the fighting back part very seriously)
Too High a Price!
Too High a Price!
WHAT CRIMINALIZING HOMELESSNESS
THE HOMELESS ADVOCACY POLICY PROJECT (HAPP) is part of the Experiential Advantage
Curriculum at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Eleven law students collaborated to author this policy
report under the supervision of Professor Nantiya Ruan.
The section on unconstitutionality of anti-homeless laws is interesting.
A. Shifts Towards Overturning Anti-Homeless Laws in Colorado
The ordinances that prohibit behaviors inextricably linked to homeless status are often found unconstitutional by today’s courts. Specifically, begging and panhandling bans, camping bans, sit/lie prohibitions, and vagrancy laws are each tied to homeless status and for different reasons, unconstitutional, and should be stricken from the municipal codes.
Begging and Panhandling Bans: Fifty-five of Colorado’s seventy-six largest cities have at least one law restricting begging or panhandling.49 These laws are ripe for legal battles against ordinances discriminately affecting individuals living in poverty. While other bans may be unconstitutionally vague, advocates have challenged begging and panhandling bans as violations of First Amendment protections of free speech.50
Undoubtedly, begging and panhandling bans specifically target people in poverty, and the federal district court in Colorado has become a leader in revealing the unconstitutionality of these discriminatory ordinances. In Browne v. City of Grand Junction, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado found Grand Junction’s prohibitions against panhandling were unconstitutional violations of protected free speech.51 Grand Junction’s now unconstitutional ordinance prohibited soliciting money under specific circumstances and in specific locations—amounting to a near universal ban on begging and panhandling.52 The plaintiff argued that these bans violated freedom of speech, were unconstitutionally vague, and discriminately affected a protected class.53 The defendant argued that the bans were narrowly tailored to a legitimate government interest, that poverty and wealth do not define a protected class, that the prohibitions were rationally related to a legitimate government interest, and that the prohibitions were detailed enough to not be unconstitutionally vague.54
Because government cannot “restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content,55 the court first determined that the panhandling ordinance was a “content based” prohibition (as opposed to a “content neutral” prohibition) that, “‘on its face’ draws distinctions based on the message [the] speaker conveys.”56 Based on a recent Supreme Court case vacating a finding that a panhandling ordinance was neutral on its face, Judge Christine Arguello of the District of Colorado found a panhandling ban is a content-based restriction.57 Therefore, the court analyzed the bans under a strict scrutiny test: the panhandling ordinance needed to “serve a compelling state interest” and be the “least restrictive means” to achieving that end.58 The court found Grand Junction’s panhandling bans were “over-inclusive because they prohibit protected speech that poses no threat to public safety.”59 In light of this holding, the court also recognized, in dicta, that certain forms of panhandling can be overly aggressive or threatening and, therefore, could be banned; however, the plaintiff had not challenged those sections of the ordinances.60….
I have only reproduced the first 4 chapters of this section, quite frankly, as strongly as I suggest reading this section, I suggest that as the very least, the entire document is well worth the time IMNSHO, (link to full PDF above)bbgrunt, Pangolino, djean111 and 11 othershistorylovr, sonofspy777, canoeist52, FanBoy, Enthusiast, PADemD, twenty, elias39, dreamnightwind, Haikugal, Iwillnevergiveup like this
“We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall
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