14 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 529 (1994-1995)
The New Constitutional Right to Beg--Is Begging Really Protected Speech

handle is hein.journals/stlpl14 and id is 539 raw text is: THE NEW CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
TO BEG-IS BEGGING REALLY
PROTECTED SPEECH?
FAY LEOUSSIS*
I. INTRODUCTION
The First Amendment, ratified in 1791, proscribes the govern-
ment from abridging the freedom of speech of its citizens.' The
interpretation of that simple phrase spans thousands of pages. The
United States Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of the meaning of
the clause in its myriad applications, has created various categories
of speech and has assessed the constitutionality of government regu-
lations of speech in the context of the category within which a par-
ticular type of speech falls. The closer the speech is to the core of
the First Amendment's purpose, that is, to empower citizens to speak
freely on political and social issues, then the greater is the degree of
judicial scrutiny that must be applied to the regulation.
In Loper v. New York City Police Department,2 the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was presented with
the question: whether begging is protected expression within the
meaning of the Free Speech Clause That court, in complete dis-
agreement with its own earlier ruling in Young v. New York City
Transit Authority,4 held that begging falls within the protected
speech category of in-person solicitation by or for charitable organi-
zations and, as such, constitutes speech entitled to the highest degree
* Fay Leoussis is currently First Deputy Chief of the Tort Division in the
Office of the New York City Corporation Counsel and supervises five borough
offices. Prior to this position, she was an appellate attorney for the City for 14
years, and handled complex appeals involving real estate and commercial litiga-
tion, torts, and municipal government, including two cases involving significant
Constitutional issues which were decided by the United States Supreme Court.
The author is a 1979 magna cum laude graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School
of Law. The author wishes to thank June A. Witterschein for her invaluable
assistance in editing this article.
1. U.S. CoNsT. amend. I.
2. 999 F.2d 699 (2d Cir. 1993).
3. Id. at 701.
4. 903 F.2d 146 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 984 (1990).

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