Contact Us

Michigan’s Anti-Panhandling Law Ruled Unconstitutional

flickr, Jacob Anikulapo

As someone who works in downtown Grand Rapids, I have encountered my fair share of panhandlers over the last three years. Those who rely on the kindness of others for their survival have, apparently, been doing it illegally, though. Soon, though, that could all change.Late Friday, a federal judge struck down the Michigan state law that criminalized peaceful panhandling in all public places.

The lawsuit (which originated in September of last year) was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan against the state attorney general and the city of Grand Rapids, which enforced the law 399 times between January 1, 2008 and May 24, 2011.

The ACLU of Michigan had argued that the state’s anti-begging law is unconstitutional because peaceful panhandling is protected free speech under the First Amendment.

 

Best of WFGR

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wfgr.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for WFGR VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive WFGR VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.