Rodgers v. Bryant, No. 17-3219 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging an Arkansas anti-loitering law that bans begging in a manner that is harassing, causes alarm, or impedes traffic. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a statewide preliminary injunction preventing Arkansas from enforcing the ban while plaintiffs pursue their claim that the law violates the First Amendment.
The court held that plaintiffs had standing to seek a preliminary injunction where plaintiff's chilled speech amounted to a constitutional injury, the injury was fairly traceable to the potential enforcement of the anti-loitering law, and the injury would be redressable by an injunction. The court held that plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their First Amendment claim, because Arkansas failed to establish that the law was narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling interest. Furthermore, plaintiffs have established that the law likely violates the First Amendment, and thus they have satisfied the remaining three Dataphase factors. Finally, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in applying the preliminary injunction statewide rather than limiting its application to plaintiffs.
Court Description: Melloy, Author, with Smith, Chief Judge, and Stras, Circuit Judge] Civil case - Constitutional Law. The district court did not err in granting a statewide preliminary injunction preventing Arkansas from enforcing its anti-loitering law while plaintiffs pursue their claim that the law - Ark. Code Ann. Sec. 5-71-213 (2017)(amended 2019) - violates their First Amendment free-speech rights; plaintiff have standing to pursue their suit as they established an injury in fact fairly traceable to the potential enforcement of the law and that their claims can be redressed by an injunction prohibiting enforcement; the district court did not err in determining that plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their claim that the law violates the First Amendment because Arkansas has so far failed to establish that the law is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest; because plaintiffs established likelihood of success on their First Amendment claims, they have satisfied the remaining Dataphase factors, as well. Judge Stras, dissenting.