Ninth Circuit Court rules in favor of day laborer’s right to assemble
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the district court’s decision in Comité de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach that struck down the City of Redondo Beach’s anti-solicitation ordinance as a “facially unconstitutional restriction on speech.”
The court cited the “well-established principles of First Amendment law,” and the court concluded that the city’s “Ordinance fails to satisfy the narrow tailoring element of the Supreme Court’s time, place and manner test.”
“Today’s decision sets a strong precedent [for] day laborer rights and stands as one in a line of successful cases brought by MALDEF on behalf of the rights of day laborers in the Ninth Circuit over the last dozen years,” a Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) statement read.
“Today’s en banc Ninth Circuit opinion resoundingly vindicates the First Amendment rights of day laborers throughout the western United States,” Thomas Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel said. “Dozens of similar ordinances throughout the region that purport to prevent day laborers from speaking on sidewalks are now even more plainly violative of the Constitution. Each municipality with such an ordinance should immediately suspend and repeal its law. The longstanding principle that the right of free speech belongs to everyone has been significantly bolstered by this decision.”
The Executive Director of National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Pablo Alvarado, also commented on today’s decision.
“Today’s decision is an outcome of a struggle in the courts and in the streets that began in the early 90’s. The ordinances were intended to render day laborers invisible; but the struggle against these ordinances has made day laborers more visible, more powerful.”
The decision overturned a 2-1 panel ruling.
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