Today, TUESDAY, August 1, 2017, at 2:00pm, U.S. District Court will hear the ACLU’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt enforcement of a recently enacted Cranston anti-panhandling ordinance.
Chief Judge William E. Smith
Hearing on request for TRO to halt enforcement of Cranston anti-panhandling ordinance. (Unlike previously scheduled in-chambers conference, today's hearing will be held in open court.)
U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
1 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903
Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 2:00pm
DETAILS: Earlier this month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of yet another Cranston anti-panhandling ordinance. The suit, filed in federal court by ACLU of RI volunteer attorney Lynette Labinger, argues that the ordinance, enacted earlier this year by a 5-4 vote of the City Council, violates the First Amendment right of individuals to solicit donations and distribute literature on Cranston roadways.
In April 2016, the ACLU favorably settled a lawsuit against Cranston over a similar ordinance. In that settlement, the City acknowledged that the ordinance violated the First Amendment and halted its enforcement. Enacted in February 2017, the current ordinance makes several cosmetic revisions to the original in an attempt – unsuccessfully, the ACLU lawsuit argues – to pass constitutional muster.
More information about the lawsuit can be found here: