This article examines multiple problems now plaguing the fundamental dichotomy in First Amendment jurisprudence between content-based and content-neutral regulations of speech. The troubles were highlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 divided decision in McCullen v. Coakley. Building from McCullen, this article uses a quartet of federal court rulings from 2014 and 2013 involving anti-begging ordinances affecting the homeless as analytical springboards for examining these issues in depth. Ultimately, the article proposes a three-step framework for mitigating the muddle and calls on the nation's high court to take action to clarify the proper test for distinguishing between content-based and content-neutral regulations.
Content-Based Confusion and Panhandling: Muddling a Weathered First Amendment Doctrine Takes Its Toll on Society's Less Fortunate,
Rich. J.L. & Pub. Int.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolpi/vol18/iss3/3