Court calls Arcata panhandling ordinance “largely unconstitutional”
Story is at the Times-Standard, http://www.times-standard.com/breakingnews/ci_21636370/arcata-panhandling-ordinance-thrown-out.
The complete text of Judge Dale Reinholtsen’s ruling can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/107095113/Arcata-s-panhandling-ordinance
Arcata citizen and all around great guy Richard Salzman had filed suit against the supposedly progressive city after it created the ordinance, which the city claimed targeted “aggressive panhandling,” but which Salzman asserted had much wider effect. The court evidently agreed with Salzman, saying it found no disagreement between the parties about aggressive panhandling.
The T-S quotes Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen’s opinion: “the Court finds that the legitimate interests advanced by Arcata with respect to the targeted panhandling prohibition are insufficient in most instances to justify the infringement of solicitors’ right and, for that reason, it is largely unconstitutional…”
The Arcata Eye’s web site has what it says is a press release from Richard Salzman: http://www.arcataeye.com/2012/09/salzman-claims-victory-in-panhandling-lawsuit-september-26-2012/ In the press release, Salzman is quoted as saying “if you believe… in our Bill of Rights, then you have to defend the rights of people you don’t agree with, or find annoying.”