ACLU Louisiana says Slidell panhandling ordinance violates constitution

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SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) – The state’s leading civil rights organization claims that an ordinance in Slidell requiring permits for panhandlers violates the Constitution.

ACLU of LA Executive Director Marjorie Esman told WGNO that the city of Slidell has been targeting panhandlers for years now with arrests and threats of arrest, and now they’ve created unlawful legislation.

In July, the city of Slidell passed a law that made it “unlawful for any person to beg or panhandle…without first obtaining a permit from the Chief of Police.”

“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not permit restrictions on soliciting others for money,” Esman said in response. “Ordinance 3826, and the amendment proposed continue to violate the rights of people within the city of Slidell.”

It’s unclear at this time what the ACLU Louisiana will do moving forward. WGNO reached out to Slidell council members, but have not heard a response yet.

You can see the entire ACLU letter here.


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