Appeals court allows ban on panhandling at LAX

  • Wed Jul 7th, 2010 10:19pm
  • News

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Police can now enforce an ordinance that bans panhandling at Los Angeles International Airport.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday lifted a preliminary injunction that was imposed in 1997, stopping police from enforcing a ban on groups that seek donations at the airport, including the Hare Krishnas.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California sued, arguing that the ban violated free speech rights.

The decision cites a California Supreme Court ruling from March, which found that soliciting money at the airport is not protected speech under the state Constitution.

Groups can still hand out literature, speak with travelers who are willing to listen and even ask for donations, as long as the money doesn’t change hands immediately.