Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations are challenging Peoria’s panhandling ordinance.

A federal judge has ordered the city of Springfield to pay more than $330,000 to civil rights attorneys who represented two panhandlers in the legal fight over anti-panhandling laws in the city.

Cities in Illinois and across the country have laws regulating panhandling. But courts are tossing them out, and Springfields ordinance could be next. How can local governments balance First Amendment rights and maintaining public order?

  WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Springfield, Illinois, officials seeking to reinstate an ordinance that banned panhandling in the city's downtown historic district. The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the city's ban was unconstitutional.  The ordinance defined panhandling as a verbal request for the immediate donation of money.