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Federal court: Michigan's begging law violates First Amendment

GRAND RAPIDS (WKZO) -- A state law that criminalizes peaceful panhandling violates the First Amendment.  That's the ruling from a federal appeals court.

James Speet and Ernest Sims filed a federal lawsuit after they were arrested for panhandling in Grand Rapids.  The federal court said the First Amendment protects charitable solicitation performed not only by organizations such as The Salvation Army, but also protects solicitation when performed by an individual not affiliated with a group.

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