LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas appeared in the United States District Court in Little Rock today in its case challenging the state’s loitering law, which outlaws the act of asking for money, food or other charity any time and any place. The ACLU asserted the law is unconstitutional because it criminalizes speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The case was filed on behalf of two individuals, Michael Andrew Rodgers and Mr. Glynn Dilbeck. Michael Andrew Rodgers is a disabled veteran who holds up a sign and peacefully asks for money from passers-by. He uses any money he receives to help cover his living expenses. Glynn Dilbeck is a homeless man who holds up a sign asking for money that he uses to help pay for his daughter’s medical bills. Mr. Rodgers has been arrested, jailed, and assessed fees and fines for violating the law, which makes it a crime to beg anywhere, anytime. Mr. Dilbeck has been cited by the Arkansas State Police and subjected to criminal