A right to beg? Lexington’s panhandling ban challenged

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A Lexington ordinance that bans panhandling on all streets and intersections is to be evaluated by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

News outlets report that an attorney for a Fayette County man is expected to argue before the court Friday that the ordinance is a violation of free speech.

Dennis Champion was arrested and charged with violating the city’s panhandling ordinance in December 2014 by holding a sign at an intersection, asking for money.

Champion’s attorneys challenged the ordinance’s legality but lost the case and a subsequent appeal. The state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case earlier this year.

Similar city-wide bans that have been challenged in federal courts have been found unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that such bans require a compelling government interest.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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