Dorian's post about the Chicago restrictions on panhandling brings to mind Anatole France's famous quote:
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread.
Sounds like the Salvation Army Santas will have a tough time in Chicago this Christmas. I'm guessing that the Chicago city attorneys will claim that this is a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction and not an out and out ban on free speech. I'd also guess that the courts will see it as overbroad and not narrowly tailored to achieve a legitimate end (stopping panhandlers who act in a threatening or coercive manner).
Also, what brought this on? I've been in Chicago twice in the last year and both times I spent quite a bit of time downtown. I didn't notice a glut of panhandlers, let alone any who were rude or threatening. Was I missing something?