Federal judge blocks Arkansas from enforcing anti-loitering law

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing an anti-loitering law, siding with opponents who say the measure unconstitutionally targets panhandlers.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction against the law, which expands the definition of loitering. The law would prohibit anyone from asking for anything as charity or a gift in a harassing or threatening manner in a way that's likely to cause alarm to the other person, or creates a traffic hazard.

The measure was approved earlier year after Wilson struck down an earlier section of the state's anti-loitering law that included a begging ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state over the measure on behalf of two panhandlers. The state had argued the law still allowed begging in many forms.

© 2017 Associated Press


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