Last week a federal Appeals Court ruled that a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, ban on sharing Food with the homeless is probably unconstitutional because it prohibits "expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment."
The case stems from efforts by a local chapter of Food Not Bombs to share vegetarian and vegan food with the needy in a Ft. Lauderdale park. The city passed an ordinance in 2014 to crack down on this practice. The law limited hours of operation, established food safety requirements, and required those who want to share food to obtain a conditional use permit. The city arrested several Food Not Bombs members for violating the ordinance.
Food Not Bombs sued, and in an interesting 20-page ruling that references an eclectic mix of sources and events—including Shakespeare, the first Thanksgiving, Cass Sunstein, the Bible, and the Boston Tea Party—the appeals court embraced the Food Not Bombs chapter's view.
What's next for the law? Hopefully nothing, writes Baylen Linnekin in his latest piece for Reason.
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