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Judge rules for Oklahoma City law that restricts panhandling

December 20, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that an Oklahoma City law that places restrictions on panhandling along busy roadways is constitutional.

Judge Joe Heaton in his ruling Wednesday found in favor of the city and its efforts to modify the law in November 2017 to ensure pedestrian safety on traffic medians.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit after the City Council first adopted the law in 2015, arguing that it infringed on the free speech rights of panhandlers and others.

The amended law reopened medians at dozens of previously restricted spots to panhandling. It restricted access to medians where the speed limit for passing traffic is at least 40 mph.

The ACLU says the amended ordinance still falls short on free speech grounds and The Oklahoman reports the group intends to appeal.

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