ACLU of Indiana: New panhandling law violates free speech

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a new law tightening Indiana’s restrictions on panhandling violates the First Amendment by all but banning solicitation in cities.

House Enrolled Act 1022 prohibits most forms of financial solicitation by individuals and groups in downtown areas of Indiana’s cities. It was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb in March.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday seeks a temporary injunction to block the law from taking effect July 1.

The ACLU of Indiana’s legal director, Ken Falk, says the law would leave “virtually no sidewalks in downtown Indianapolis or any downtown area in any Indiana city” where people can ask for money.

He says courts have recognized panhandling as protected by the First Amendment. 

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