Media Contact

Cassidy Fallik, Communications Director, (913) 748-1278,

August 26, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY - Following the recent order by Judge Joe Heaton of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma for attorney’s fees in McCraw, et al. v. City of Oklahoma City, also known as the anti-panhandling ordnance case, for a total of $989,026.00, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statement: 

The following is attributable to Megan Lambert, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Oklahoma: 

“The ACLU of Oklahoma fights for the free speech rights of Oklahomans wherever they are threatened. Whether campaigning for a political candidate, advocating for a cause, soliciting for life-sustaining funds, or protesting police brutality, all Oklahomans have the First Amendment right to speak from public medians.”  

“Five years ago, when City Councilmembers first proposed the anti-panhandling measure, they repeatedly ignored warnings that it would violate the free speech rights of its citizens. And almost a year ago, the federal court of appeals unanimously declared that the City had ‘utterly failed’ to defend its ordinance, which the court struck down for violating the First Amendment.” 

“While we celebrate this victory and the conclusion to McCraw, we are also well aware that the burden of these fees falls on the taxpayers of Oklahoma City and that ultimately the City’s top lawyer’s prediction that ‘taxpayers would be forced to pay the ACLU’s attorney's fees,’ came to fruition. We hope this fee amount will deter Oklahoma City from violating the constitutional rights of Oklahomans and encourage them to consider the concerns of the community in the future. We will continue our fight for the free speech rights of all Oklahomans.”