Illinois high court won’t hear appeal over anti-panhandling ban

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Springfield, Illinois, officials seeking to reinstate an ordinance that banned panhandling in the city’s downtown historic district.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the city’s ban was unconstitutional.

The ordinance defined panhandling as a verbal request for the immediate donation of money. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the ban infringed on free speech rights.

The city argued that the anti-panhandling ordinance was meant to regulate the behavior of panhandlers but not their message.

The case is City of Springfield v. Don Norton, 15-727.

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