The Supreme Court Monday let stand New York City's ban on poor and homeless people begging for money in the city's subways.
The justices, without comment, rejected arguments that the city's ban on panhandling throughout the subway system violates free-speech rights.Monday's action carries no direct impact for other cities with similar policies. The action, merely a denial of review, sets no legal precedent.
In 1980, the high court ruled that free-speech protections of the First Amendment extend to people who go door-to-door soliciting money for charities. But the justices never have ruled that soliciting for one's own needs is constitutionally protected.
New York City's subway system does not ban "solicitation for charitable, religious or political causes."
In other action, the court:
- Refused to kill an affirmative action program in Florida aimed at awarding more public works contracts to businesses run by minorities and women. The court, without comment, rejected an appeal by companies that said the Tampa-area program is unconstitutional because it condones reverse discrimination against white men.
- Agreed to decide whether state judges may be forced to retire at age 70. The court said it will hear arguments by two Missouri judges that their state's mandatory retirement age violates federal law and unconstitutionally treats them differently than other Missouri employees.
- Refused to kill two fair-housing lawsuits that stem from newspaper real estate advertisements showing only white models posing as homeowners. The justices, without comment, let stand a ruling that forces developers of a Virginia condominium community to defend themselves against allegations they violated federal laws.
- Let stand a ruling that Arizona officials may be sued for shutting down a Tucson day-care center without giving the owner a chance to respond to charges of child abuse and overcrowding.
- Turned down a bid by the nation's nuclear power industry to scuttle anticipated federal rules for the training of nuclear plant workers. The justices, over one dissenting vote, let stand a federal appeals court ruling that forces the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue such binding rules.
- Agreed to review one aspect of a long legal battle in which animal rights groups are seeking to save four monkeys used for medical research. The justices said they will decide whether a federal agency may transfer the groups' lawsuit from state to federal court.
- Let stand a ruling that a state may limit how much money a candidate may receive from political committees. The court, without comment, rejected arguments that such a Wisconsin campaign-financing law violates free-speech rights.