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Idaho Judge Strikes Most of Anti-Panhanding Rule

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has barred the city of Boise from enacting most of its anti-panhandling ordinance while a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union moves through the courts.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge wrote in the ruling released Thursday that people have a right to ask others for charitable donations while in other public places. Lodge said those First Amendment rights can’t be ignored just because the panhandling makes some uncomfortable.

The ordinance, which was slated to take effect Thursday, bans panhandlers from seeking handouts while someone is crossing a roadway, within 20 feet of a sidewalk cafe or ATM, on city busses or in cases where a potential donor feels harassed or intimidated. Michael Zuzel with the Boise mayor’s office said the city is reviewing the ruling.

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