A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the city of Redondo Beach's ordinance allowing for the arrest of day laborers who approach automobiles soliciting work.
A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court decision.
The appeals court said the city's ordinance, modeled after a Phoenix law upheld by the same court, was a reasonable response to traffic problems that officials said day laborers soliciting work caused at two city intersections. The 2-1 majority noted that Redondo Beach allowed the day laborers an alternative forum to seek work such as passing out literature on sidewalks and in parking lots.
Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote for the majority that "we conclude that the Redondo Beach ordinance is narrowly tailored to serve Redondo Beach's significant interests in traffic flow and safety."
Redondo Beach's law was enacted in the 1980s but not enforced until 2004, when 60 day laborers were arrested in stings by undercover police posing as people seeking to hire workers.
Judge Kim Wardlaw dissented, writing that the ordinance violated the laborers' free speech rights.