Professor Andrew Horwitz argues that proposed bills on traffic obstruction would hamper freedom of speech and unduly affect panhandlers and jaywalkers.

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Horwitz on Traffic Obstruction Bills

Professor Andrew Horwitz argues that proposed bills on traffic obstruction would hamper freedom of speech and unduly affect panhandlers and jaywalkers.

From the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: "Bills that would define traffic obstruction as a crime draw opposition" by Jennifer Bogdan, Journal State House Bureau

TrafficFebruary 04, 2015:  Two bills drafted in response to the protest that brought traffic to a halt on Route 95 in November drew a wealth of backlash Wednesday as many suggested the laws would hamper freedom of speech and impose possibly unintended consequences on panhandlers and jaywalkers.

[...] Five protesters were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after blocking Route 95 in downtown Providence in response to a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot a black teenager. If convicted, they face up to six months in prison, said Andrew Horwitz, an attorney who represents one of the protesters.

Horwitz, a professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, said the bills are senseless because laws already exist to deal with the situation. He also cautioned that Hull’s bill could be applied to the homeless begging for money, firefighters running fund drives or jaywalkers talking a long time to cross the street. [...]

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