(Cartoon by Owen Courreges)
Last week, another salvo in the seemingly never-ending battle between New Orleans and the U.S. Constitution was lobbed by Mayor Landrieu. This time Landrieu has proposed an ordinance with its sights on Jackson Square, the iconic public space at the heart of the city.
Now technically the target isn’t actually the square, but the surrounding streets and sidewalks (i.e., public rights of way) that the city has come to dub the “Jackson Square Pedestrian Mall.” Through Councilwoman Palmer, whose district includes the French Quarter, Landrieu has proposed an ordinance for the mall that would: 1) mandate “clear lanes;” and, 2) provide “closing times” between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to persons “stopping, standing, or loitering.”
Both parts of the proposed ordinance are problematic, but the latter is blatantly unconstitutional. Continue reading »