Day Laborers Win Key Victory As Supreme Court Rejects Job Soliciting Ban

rights-day-laborer1-300x242.jpgAwesome labor rights news coming from this Supreme Court decision. Everyone is entitled to a means to subsistence.




Reporting from Washington—


Redondo Beach lost a bid to reinstate its ordinance barring day laborers from gathering on busy street corners to solicit work from passing drivers Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down its appeal.

The ordinance allowed police to arrest those who were motioning to motorists and allegedly causing traffic problems.

Lawyers for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in Los Angeles had sued the city on behalf of two groups of day laborers. In September, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ordinance on free-speech grounds.

Its judges, by a 9-2 vote, said the ordinance was too broad because it applied to all city streets and all pedestrians. The judges also noted the city had not set aside a spot where day laborers could congregate and seek work from interested residents.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote a strong dissent. He said the city was troubled because as many as 75 day laborers crowded at some busy intersections.

“Nothing in the 1st Amendment prevents government ensuring that sidewalks are reserved for walking rather than loitering,” he wrote.

Redondo Beach appealed to the high court in December, citing Kozinski’s dissent.

Its lawyers argued that cities should have the authority to regulate people who use its sidewalks and intersections to solicit passing motorists. But the high court turned down the appeal without comment.

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  • published this page in Latino Voces 2012-03-19 08:20:42 -0700