Curfew Laws Fixed To Protect Constitutional Rights

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Following Chicago’s lead, some suburban communities are re-evaluating curfew laws to make sure they don’t violate teens’ constitutional rights, says the Chicago Tribune. Last week, Glencoe, Ill., suspended curfew arrests while officials review a recent federal court ruling that declared an Indiana curfew law unconstitutional because it interfered with minors’ 1st Amendment rights. Lake Forest and Arlington Heights took similar steps in February.

Deerfield, Highland Park, Naperville and Mt. Prospect have changed their curfew laws to make exceptions for teenagers in constitutionally protected late-night activities, such as attending midnight mass.

Chicago began enforcing a new curfew ordinance this month. Officers will ask youngsters why they are on the street late at night. Those who can show they are attending church meetings, public protests, or other activities protected by the 1st Amendment will be allowed to continue.

An Illinois statute prohibits people under 17 from being out on the streets after midnight Friday and Saturday and after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0403300205mar30,1,6644141.story?coll=chi-news-hed

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