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Appeals court blocks part of NYC anti-graffiti law

By The Associated Press
06.09.06

NEW YORK — A federal appeals court yesterday blocked the city from enforcing part of an anti-graffiti law that prevented people ages 18 to 21 from buying spray paint and broad-tipped markers.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the city's request that it temporarily let aspects of the law that pertain to young people remain in effect while the appeals court considers whether a judge was right to find in favor of artists who challenged it.

City lawyer Virginia Waters said the city would appeal.

"Graffiti is an ongoing blight in New York City, and we look forward to being able to use this important tool once we prevail upon the appeal."

Judge George B. Daniels temporarily ordered an end to enforcement of the ban on sales to 18- to 21-year-olds, saying there was no "rational basis" to target them more than other adults.

Daniel Perez, who represents seven high school and college students who challenged the law, predicted that the appeals court's ruling would not change.

"We hope the city has learned its lesson about drafting laws that violate the Constitution," he said.

The rewritten laws extended a ban to young adults which had already prevented those under age 18 from buying graffiti tools, but allowed them to possess such items. In addition to aerosol spray paint and broad-tipped indelible markers, the graffiti tools include etching acid.


Update
NYC can't block young adults from buying spray paint
2nd Circuit says portions of anti-graffiti law 'appear to burden substantially more speech than is necessary to achieve the city's legitimate interest in preventing illegal graffiti.' 02.02.07

Related

Judge allows New York graffiti block party

City's denial of permit for spray-paint celebration ruled a 'flagrant violation' of First Amendment. 08.23.05

Graffiti artists tag NYC councilman as enemy No. 1

Peter Vallone, who calls graffiti vandalism, not art, wants tougher laws against the practice, including restrictions on some art supplies. 05.13.06

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