Appeals court leery of Arizona day laborer law
SAN FRANCISCO -- Arizona's attempt to criminalize day laborers who block traffic seeking work came in for rough treatment before a federal appeals court.
The three-judge panel Wednesday of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco appeared skeptical of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's argument that the law was a legal way to remedy traffic congestion she said is caused by day laborers. A lower court judge had previously put the law on hold.
Two of the three judges asked why existing traffic laws couldn't solve the alleged problem.
The governor's attorney answered that existing laws are failing and that a specific prohibition is needed to ensure traffic safety.
Opponents argued the law's true purpose is to crackdown on illegal immigrants. They said it violates the laborers' free speech rights.