Portland gets more time to appeal loitering decision

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PORTLAND — City councilors have another month to decide whether to appeal a federal court decision that struck down a city ordinance prohibiting loitering on median strips.

The U.S. District Court in Portland has granted an extension to April 14 because, city Corporation Counsel Danielle West-Chuhta said, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston is considering a similar appeal in a Worcester, Mass., case.

West said the appellate court decision on Thayer, et al v. City of Worcester will play a role in determining if and how Portland may appeal the Feb. 12 decision by U.S. District Court Judge George Singal that Portland’s ordinance,  enacted by the City Council last July, violated First Amendment free speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.