A state law makes begging in public places illegal. The ACLU sued Attorney General Bill Schuette over what it calls a violation of free speech rights.
Lansing City Attorney Brig Smith is keeping a close watch on this lawsuit since the city also has its own anti-begging ordinance.
"In light of this litigation, we're going to take a wait and see approach and then be guided by the outcome," said Smith.
Smith says Lansing's anti-begging ordinance has not become an enforcement priority for the city, but it's a different story in Grand Rapids.
"I want to be able to walk down the street and say brother can you spare a dime without the police slamming handcuffs on me," said Veteran Ernest Sims who was arrested when asking for money on the streets of Grand Rapids.
Sims is now a plaintiff in the lawsuit. ACLU is representing him and another person arrested while holding up a sign.
"To hold up a sign and say I need help, I need a job, I'm hungry, that's just as protected as other forms of speech," said Miriam Aukerman, staff attorney for ACLU of Michigan.
Lansing has not taken a position on this case. Smith did say how and if the city enforces its own ordinance could be driven by the lawsuit's outcome.