Committee Tables Ordinance, C-J Continues Opposition

by Gabe Bullard on May 19, 2009

The Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee has tabled an anti-litter ordinance that has been called unconstitutional by the Courier-Journal.

The measure would classify certain methods of delivering unsolicited flyers or advertising supplements as littering if they’re left on lawns rather than on porches or secured to a door.

Proponents of the measure say it would keep the materials from clogging sewers and cluttering yards and streets. Courier-Journal Attorney Jon Fleischaker says the ordinance violates the paper’s First Amendment rights.

“We’re talking not only about the right to publish, the right to speak,” he says. “We’re also talking about the right to distribute. We’re also talking about the individual citizen’s right to receive information, which is also a cherished First Amendment right.”

Council members will consider amendments to the legislation and bring it before the committee again in two weeks.

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