Palm Beach County Libertarians Call for End of Panhandling Ordinance
The Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (LP Palm Beach) has again come out against Palm Beach County’s panhandling ordinance as a violation of the Constitutional rights of county citizens. In 2015, LP Palm Beach came out against the ordinance warning that it was unconstitutional and was rebuffed by county commissioners by this ordinance’s enactment. Represented by the Florida Justice Institute, Clarence Richter has recently filed a lawsuit seeking damages in federal court, which could put county taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars for violating the constitutional rights of county citizens.
LP Palm Beach Chair Karl Dickey said today, “The county and some municipalities are acting in direct violation of the First Amendment by putting citizens in a cage simply for expressing free speech and/or asking for money from the public while on public property. We call for Palm Beach County Commissioners and all cities in the county to repeal their panhandling ordinances, which violate the U.S. Constitution. Our elected officials took an oath to defend the Constitution, and instead are trampling all over it.”
Palm Beach County Court Judge Sherri Collins has already declared the county ordinance unconstitutional in a separate criminal case heard in November 2021. Nonetheless, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has continued to enforce the ordinance by arresting and fining people under it.
Press release March 25, 2022