by Max Brantley
“We understand that being asked for money can make some people uncomfortable, but making an end-run around the Constitution is not the answer,” said Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “The freedom of speech is a right guaranteed to everyone under the Constitution, including people who are down on their luck.”The ACLU, suing on behalf of two people who face potential arrest for soliciting money, said the new law is drawn too broadly by criminalizing the act of asking for charity or a gift in "an aggressive or threatening manner."
“By censoring and even criminalizing people based on the content of their speech, this law violates the Constitution and infringes on one of our most fundamental freedoms,” said Bettina Brownstein, ACLU of Arkansas cooperating attorney. “If we don’t defend unpopular speech, everyone’s free speech rights are at risk.”