A federal appeals court on Wednesday, Aug. 14, affirmed that a state law criminalizing peaceful panhandling is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids earlier ruled that the law violated the First Amendment.

“This decision reaffirms the principle that our Constitution applies equally to everyone, whether poor or rich,” said Miriam Aukerman, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney.

“Jail time is a harsh price to pay for holding up a sign or simply asking for spare change.”