ALBUQUERQUE – A judge says Albuquerque’s panhandling ordinance restricts free speech and is unconstitutional.
The Albuquerque ordinance’s language had prohibited panhandlers from standing on sidewalks and medians in the city’s streets to solicit motorists, with the sponsor saying it was intended to make streets safer.
The measure was passed in 2017, but hadn’t been enforced since early 2018 when the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the city on behalf of four people.
The plaintiffs included a woman who was homeless and regularly sought donations on the street, a couple who handed out donations from their vehicles and a woman who distributed flyers to drivers at red lights.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Brack’s ruling came Thursday.