ACLU files court complaint against Grand Junction's anti-panhandling ordinance

By John Wilkenson

GRAND JUNCTION — The Daily Sentinel presented their version of this story in an article titled "ACLU sues Grand Junction over panhandling ordinance" The first sentence in that story is: "Officials with the city of Grand Junction believe an ordinance passed last month to curb aggressive panhandling will not limit rights of free speech."

Here at the M.C.C.C. we understand that, of course, government officials always pretend that what they are doing is "legal" — whether it is or not. So we're not all that interested in the "opinions" (aka talking points designed for public consumption) of government officials. We're more interested in exposing their too-often opaque behind-the-scenes manipulations.

So instead of trying to tell you the story, we prefer to let interested persons read the relevant documentation, especially including court documents, for themselves. Grand Junction's ordinance at issue is located at http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/1-Complaint-Ex-1-Ordinance.pdf. The ACLU's complaint is located at http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/1-Complaint-2.pdf.

We — (notice how Vestigial Dinosaur Media editorial writers always like to say "we" or "this corner" instead of "I" because it camouflages them to sound a lot more important than they really are) — found it interesting that the ACLU used photographs in their complaint. Of two photos copied from the ACLU complaint, plaintiff Eric Niederkruger (see page 13 of the complaint) is on the left above, and plaintiff Mary Jane Sanchez (see page 9) is on the right. It is common knowledge that photos can be entered into evidence as exhibits in court cases, but I was unaware that court pleadings are starting to look like Drudge Report's home page. Maybe the ACLU just put the photos in the online version of their complaint. To see the ACLU case page, CLICK HERE.

Also interesting is the similarity between the ACLU's Motion For Temporary Restraining Order And Preliminary Injunction against Grand Junction and their Motion For Temporary Restraining Order And Preliminary Injunction (Civil Action No. 12-cv-3095-MSK) against the Colorado Springs' anti-panhandling ordinance.

M.C.C.C. is looking forward to reading the briefs, especially in the Grand Junction case (Civil Action No. 14-cv-00809 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; ACLU Case No. 2004-02).

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