City Council Members Push to Crack Down on Panhandling

October 22, 2013 – In The News
The Baltimore Sun

William Martin was featured in The Baltimore Sun article “City Council Members Push to Crack Down on Panhandling.” While the full text can be found in the October 22, 2013, issue of The Baltimore Sun, a synopsis is noted below.

A proposal to outlaw panhandling near Baltimore restaurants, shops and parking meters will head to City Council on Nov. 4. The proposal faces opposition from advocates for the homeless and free-speech groups, who say that limiting panhandling violates the Constitution.

According to Martin, Baltimore has the right to distinguish places where individuals can solicit as long as “they are leaving alternative means for people to exercise their First Amendment rights” and the city can demonstrate a “significant government interest.”

“If an individual is required to utilize a parking meter, they don’t have options to walk away,” Martin said. “The ACLU always has very strong and black-and-white assessments of these situations. I think that the courts have demonstrated some subtleties in their analysis.”