Ninth Circuit Finds Anti-Solicitation Ordinance Aimed at Day Laborers Violates First Amendment
The Ninth Circuit invalidated a City of Redondo Beach ordinance that prohibits solicitation between day laborers and occupants of motor vehicles on streets and highways. In Comite De Jornaleros De Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, Ninth Circuit Case No. 06-55750, No. 06-56869, the Ninth Circuit en banc opinion reversed the prior panel decision that held the Redondo Beach ordinance constitutional. The Court held that the Redondo Beach ordinance is not narrowly tailored to the City's objective and that the City could use less restrictive means to ensure traffic flow and safety.
Cities with an anti-solicitation ordinance, or those thinking of adopting one, should consider the Comite decision closely. First Amendment cases are often very fact-specific, and Comite is no exception. The majority provides a number of guideposts for cities seeking to craft a constitutional ordinance. The City of Redondo Beach is currently considering whether to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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