In an opinion piece published Sunday, the Los Angeles Times noted that the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal last week to hear an appeal by the city of Redondo Beach over its day laborers ordinance that "it's no longer open season on day laborers."
The anti-solicitation ordinance was passed in 1987; however, it was enforced for the first time in 2004, when Redondo Beach police ran an undercover sting that resulted in the arrests of 60 day laborers. Those convicted of violating the ordinance were given 180-day suspended jail sentences, put on three years' probation and ordered to stay away from the sidewalk where they were arrested.
Though a three-member panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in June 2010, the full 11-member panel of the court struck it down last September.
The writers of the Times' editorial made it clear that they agree with the decision to scuttle the ordinance:
By rebuffing Redondo Beach's appeal, the court let stand an important message: Seeking work on a street corner is a form of speech, a protected 1st Amendment right that is not to be denied even when the speaker is an immigrant.
- Full story: The War Over Day Laborers [Los Angeles Times]