On September 16, the Ninth Circuit ruled 9-2 that cities may not criminalize the act of standing on a public sidewalk to solicit “employment, business, or contributions from an occupant of any motor vehicle.” The case is Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v City of Redondo Beach, 06-55750. Although this is not directly related to petitioning (because petitioners never expect anyone driving a car to pull over to the curb, get out of the car, and sign a petition), the decision illustrates the protection that the First Amendment gives to anyone who uses a public sidewalk for First Amendment activity. Here is the decision. The majority opinion is 23 pages; there is a concurrence and a lengthy dissent.
The decision struck down a city ordinance that had been enacted to stop day laborers from standing on certain busy streets and holding up signs, or otherwise indicating, that they were seeking employment. Thanks to How Appealing for this news.