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Springfield Takes Panhandling Case To Nation's High Court


The city of Springfield is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a downtown panhandling ban after it was declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. 

A three-judge panel ruled in August that the city's panhandling ban was unconstitutional, reversing a previous decision that upheld the city's anti-panhandling ordinance, which prohibits a verbal request for a monetary donation.  

City attorney Jim Zerkle tells the State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1Q2K7VG ) that the city filed a petition this week with the U.S. Supreme Court.  

The city argues that the panhandling ban is meant to regulate the behavior of panhandlers but not their message.  

It could be months before city officials learn whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case.

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