(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday on the side of day laborers seeking work in Arizona, upholding an injunction that bars the state from enforcing part of its immigration law that prohibits motorists from stopping traffic to pick up workers.
In the unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the state law, by criminalizing certain interactions between drivers and day laborers, went too far in restricting commercial free speech rights.
The court’s decision is another blow to a tough 2010 Arizona law that sought to clamp down on illegal immigrants. The U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down key provisions of that law in a case brought by the Obama administration on grounds that the law clashed with the federal government’s power to enforce U.S. laws on immigration.
The case before the appeals court stemmed from a civil rights lawsuit filed by immigrant and union groups, with help from attorneys from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The sections of the law in question made it a crime for a motorist to solicit or hire a day laborer if the car blocks traffic, and also prohibited any day laborer from entering a car that is obstructing traffic.
While attorneys for Arizona argued the state’s intention was to