Interesting First Amendment Case:
The Ninth Circuit has struck down a Las Vegas ordinance banning solicitation in a five-block area of downtown on First Amendment grounds. The opinion by Judge Paez is here: ACLU v. City of Las Vegas. As I read the opinion, the court reasoned that banning only soliciting was a content-based restriction -- it allowed speech that didn't solicit, but banned speech that did -- thus triggering strict scrutiny that the law couldn't survive. Hat tip: How Appealing.
Oh, um, I thought you meant solicitation in the prostitution sense, not solicitation in the commercial sense. I'm fairly certain that it was only the mention of Las Vegas that led me down this path, but I wonder if I'll be the only one who was baffled at first by this post. :)
10.20.2006 5:42pm
Christopher M (mail):
The plaintiffs drew a great panel, from their perspective: Tashima / Thomas / Paez.
10.20.2006 5:45pm
BTD_Venkat (mail) (www):
Solicitation obviously presents evils not present in other communications. Some would argue.
10.20.2006 5:50pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Since I was a bit confused about what they meant by solicitation too (thought it was prostitution as well) here is a excerpt explaining what they meant:

Solicitation is broadly defined as “to ask, beg, solicit or
plead, whether orally, or in a written or printed manner, for the purpose of obtaining money, charity, business or patronage, or gifts or items of value for oneself or another person or organization.” Id. § 10.44.010(A). The expansive reach of the solicitation ordinance is confirmed by Defendants’ interpretation of it as prohibiting distribution of a handbill by the Shundahai Network stating “WE NEED HELP - ANYTHING - FOOD - DONATIONS - PEOPLE - CARS - LOVE - KITCHEN SUPPLIES” and providing contact information.
According to the City’s counsel, distribution of this handbill violated the ordinance because “[t]he solicitation ordinance expressly prohibits any requests whether written or oral for charity, business or patronage.” The district court confirmed this interpretation of the ordinance in its 2001 order, finding that LVMC § 10.44.010(A) “bar[s] the distribution of message bearing leaflets that solicit money or donations . . . through in hand leafleting, regardless of whether their request is for an immediate or future donation.” ACLU v. City of Las Vegas, No. 97-1419, at 14-15 (D. Nev. Apr. 4, 2001) (unpublished order) (“2001 Order”).
10.20.2006 8:08pm
Downtown, not the strip? I wonder if this banned porn slappers...
10.20.2006 8:11pm
BTD_Venkat (mail) (www):
Yea, fns 10 and 13 are important.

They should have just banned solicitations for in-person donations. It seems like cases look at this as a content-neutral regulation.
10.20.2006 8:20pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I figured it was solicitation to encourage people to join labor unions! That's its general context when seen at shopping malls.
10.22.2006 12:25am