Las Vegas no-feeding law struck down

Nov. 21, 2006 at 7:09 PM

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled that a Las Vegas ordinance banning the distribution of food in public parks is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones said the ordinance violated the Constitution by targeting a specific segment of the population, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.

"The statute goes too far," Jones said. "I don't think you could limit a person's right ... to hand out sandwiches to one, two, three, four or five people."

"This is one thing the homeless and indigent can really give thanks for. A federal judge went out of his way days before Thanksgiving to protect their rights," attorney Robert Murdock said after the hearing.

Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic said he believes the city can redraft the ordinance if it can prove that feeding indigent people in public parks leads to a greater burden on city services, including trash cleanup.

"I am heartened the court recognized there is a serious problem and has given the city some guidance on how to amend the ordinance so we can address the problem," Jerbic said. "We have every right to regulate that activity. We have every right, as a government, to regulate the park."

Topics: Robert Jones
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