America

Appeals Court Rules Arizona Day Labor Solicitation Law Is Unconstitutional

Day laborers wait on at a street corner in Tucson, Ariz., hoping for an employer to drive up and put them to work. The photograph was taken in 2008. i i

Day laborers wait on at a street corner in Tucson, Ariz., hoping for an employer to drive up and put them to work. The photograph was taken in 2008. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Day laborers wait on at a street corner in Tucson, Ariz., hoping for an employer to drive up and put them to work. The photograph was taken in 2008.

Day laborers wait on at a street corner in Tucson, Ariz., hoping for an employer to drive up and put them to work. The photograph was taken in 2008.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

The sweeping anti-immigration law passed by Arizona in 2010, received another buffet today: A panel of the the San Francisco-based U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stood with a lower court, ruling that a ban on drivers soliciting day laborers violates the constitution's free speech guarantee.

Bloomberg News does a good job at laying out the legal issues in the case:

"The provisions, part of Arizona legislation aimed at restricting illegal immigration, penalize the commercial speech of day laborers and those who hire them, the San Francisco-based court held today. While the state has an interest in traffic safety, the law doesn't target people who create traffic hazards and its stated purpose is to encourage undocumented workers to leave the state by stripping them of their livelihood, the three-judge panel said.

"'Laws like this one that restrict more protected speech than is necessary violate the First Amendment,' the court said. The rules limit the ability of laborers and employers to negotiate and consummate a legal transaction—to hire or be hired for day labor, the court ruled."

If you remember, last summer, the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the immigration law.

Court House News reports that the provision of the law that requires police to check the immigration status of those stopped for another violation "remains unchecked because it has not yet gone into effect."

The court has posted its opinion here.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.