Kansas appeals court upholds city’s sidewalk rule

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of an ordinance in Lawrence against obstructing sidewalks following a challenge from a homeless man repeatedly arrested under it.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports (http://bit.ly/18ScVI8 ) that a three-judge appeals panel ruled in the case of 55-year-old Robert Gilmore. The challenged ordinance bans people from blocking others’ movement on sidewalks.

Gilmore’s attorney had argued that it was too vague. The appeals panel disagreed.

Gilmore was charged in 2011 with three counts of blocking sidewalk traffic outside a downtown department store. He’s often seen downtown, and his family has said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a boy.

A municipal judge acquitted Gilmore. But the city took the case to state courts to get a ruling that the ordinance is constitutional.

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