Judge upholds blocking Arkansas from restricting panhandlers

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) — A federal judge has ruled that panhandlers in Arkansas are allowed to ask for money without being arrested, upending the state’s 2017 anti-loitering law that opponents say unfairly targets panhandlers. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson on Thursday made permanent an order he issued in September 2017 that found the amended measure unconstitutional. The law expanded the definition of loitering to include anyone asking for charity or a gift in a harassing or threatening manner that’s likely to cause others alarm or create a traffic hazard. A federal appeals court last week returned the case to Wilson’s jurisdiction.

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