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Appeals Court Rules Arizona Day Labor Solicitation Law Is Unconstitutional

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.

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UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

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