Skip to comments.CA: Federal judge rejects Redondo Beach law barring day laborers (ruled in violation of 1st Amend.)
Posted on 05/04/2006 9:35:00 PM PDT by calcowgirl
Ordinance is ruled in violation of the First Amendment. The city attorney calls the decision "frustrating" but not a surprise.
A federal judge has barred Redondo Beach from enforcing its 19-year-old ordinance designed to prohibit day laborers from seeking work on city streets.
U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall issued the decision last week in favor of the Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which argued the ordinance violated First Amendment free-speech rights. Marshall's ruling was made public Tuesday.
The 29-page decision comes at a time when the debate on illegal immigration and its impact on the economy is at the national forefront. Supporters of the day laborers said they hoped it would help show lawmakers that these workers have rights.
Redondo Beach City Attorney Mike Webb said he was not surprised by the decision but he found it "frustrating" because officials regularly field complaints about day laborers.
Webb said Marshall's rulings have taken away one of the city's best tools in addressing complaints about day laborers.
The ordinance gave the city "an effective means of addressing the concerns without going to a more aggressive approach," such as working with federal immigration authorities.
Webb called that approach "more heavy handed," but said that other means of cutting down on day laborer complaints -- such as enforcing city traffic provisions or the state loitering law -- aren't likely to help the situation. With loitering, Webb said, police would have to prove that a worker was doing so with an intent to commit a crime.
Unless the City Council directs him otherwise, he said he plans to appeal Marshall's ruling decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 1987 ordinance prohibited anyone from standing on a street or highway and trying to solicit employment or contributions from anyone in a motor vehicle. City officials said the ordinance helped promote traffic safety and reduce nuisance crimes.
But opposition to the law came to a head in October 2004, when Redondo Beach police ran an undercover sting operation that ended with the arrests of 60 day laborers. The lawsuit challenging the law was filed a short time later and Marshall has repeatedly sided against the city. She first halted the law's enforcement in December 2004.
Her new decision -- which granted a request for "summary judgment" that decides the case without a trial -- prohibited the city from enforcing the law and ordered that any fines, penalties or records of infractions for violators be rescinded and restitution be paid to them.
Marshall's ruling states that the ordinance as it was drafted is too broad and that the city's arguments in support of it show that it was intended to target day laborers.
"By its plain terms, the ordinance would apply to a motorist who stops, on a residential street, to inquire whether a neighbor's teenage daughter or son would be interested in performing yard work or baby-sitting," she wrote.
She noted that the city contended that the law wouldn't be enforced that way, but she said that admission "confirms that the ordinance is overbroad, and raises some serious equal protection concerns."
As for city arguments that the law helps cut violations such as littering and public urination, Marshall said free speech rights prevail.
"The fact that the city has received some citizen complaints regarding day laborers' activities is insufficient to justify preventing all laborers or other solicitors from engaging in speech," she wrote.
Marshall also said that Redondo Beach officials have not shown that there are other areas in the city where laborers could solicit work.
Supporters of Marshall's decision said it will make other cities carefully consider placing restrictions on day laborers.
The ruling "represents full vindication of the constitutional rights of day laborers to seek jobs from willing employers," said Robert Rubin, a civil rights lawyer who argued the day laborers' case to the judge.
Chris Newman a spokesman for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said the decision shows that such laws are not only "immoral but they are unconstitutional."
"Everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has the same First Amendment right to express themselves in public places like sidewalks," Newman said.
Business owners at the corner of Inglewood Avenue and Manhattan Beach Boulevard, a popular site for day laborers to congregate, had mixed reviews about the ruling.
Some employees said workers intimidate them by standing in front of their shops and peering into their cars in the parking lot.
Yet others said they aren't bothered by seeing many of the same faces each morning.
Julia Hernandez, owner of a Winchell's doughnut shop, admitted her business would suffer if the ruling had gone the other way.
"I'm glad for them," Hernandez said. "If the city can enforce that, it would affect my business. Most of them have breakfast here. But on the other side, they need to organize themselves, make sure they don't get in the way (of pedestrians)."
Incredible Cafe manager Jenaro Cruz said he has called Redondo Beach to complain about men lingering near his business at the request of different customers. Since the injunction was granted, however, he has received the same response: "There's nothing they can do."
"As long as they're not in front of my business, I don't have a problem," Cruz said, "But if (customers) do complain, I have a problem with it."
As for one of the people arrested in October 2004, Inglewood handyman Braulio Gonzalez, 50, said he and fellow day laborers cheered the news of the decision and are pleased they can continue to seek work.
"Now, we are happy," said the Guatemala native who has sought work on city streets for 24 years. "We have to celebrate. For sure, we have to make a party."
so can we also can suppose 'judge' Consuelo Marshall has no problem with pimps an protsitutes loitering in front of her house too?
Because illegal aliens were the only plaintiffs, no one had standing to raise the Constitutional issue (if any), would they?
Why should the U.S. Constitution tell some city in California to hand out federal rights to illegal aliens anyway?
I'm an American. I'm white. And, if I want to stand on a street corner advertising my need to obtain employment I have the right to do that.
For anyone to argue that is stupid.
Hailing a cab is a lot like signaling someone you are available for work. Does that mean you can't wave down a cab. I'm sorry but anyone that supports the city's ordinance deserves to be suited.
It's a NO-BRAINER!
another case this judge sabotaged:
U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled that police could not use digital photos of child-pornography , found on an alleged child molesters computer . The decision meant that the case could not be prosecuted in federal court on seven counts of possession of child pornography, which carried a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
Marshall, Consuelo Bland
Born 1936 in Knoxville, TN
Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. District Court, Central District of California
Nominated by Jimmy Carter on June 20, 1980, to a seat vacated by Robert Firth; Confirmed by the Senate on September 29, 1980, and received commission on September 30, 1980. Served as chief judge, 2001-2005. Assumed senior status on October 24, 2005.
Los Angeles City College, A.A., 1956
Howard University, B.A., 1958
Howard University, LL.B., 1961
Deputy city attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, California, 1962-1967
Private practice, Los Angeles, California, 1968-1970
Commissioner, Juvenile Court, Los Angeles Superior Court, California, 1971-1976
Judge, Civil and Criminal Division, Inglewood Municipal Court, Inglewood, California, 1976-1977
Judge, Criminal Division, Los Angles Superior Court, California, 1977-1980
Race or Ethnicity: African American
you cant solisit illegel labor , or do you support your right to prostitiute?
Our judicial system, and our nation itself, is falling apart at the seems because of these dishonest, agenda-driven judges and the do-nothing politicians who refuse to do anything about this judicial legislating and usurpation of their power.
I would gladly contribute if some pimps would hang around in front of her house.
And if you were drunk and urinating in the street what then?
Bridges v. Wixon. Justice Murphy's concurring opinoin is one of the worst rulings I've ever read.
"How did it ever come to pass that non-citizens are entitled to citizen's rights? And how is it that loitering in the streets while waiting for somebody to come by and offer you a job is considered to be "speech". If this is the case then any 'john' soliciting a hooker should be protected because he is exercising his 1st Amendment rights."
We have to, as a civilized nation based on a foundation of human rights, extend those rights to all humans, even if they are tourists or illegal immigrants. I have mixed feelings about this, in the face of current events.
If we do not accord people in our country (regardles of their legal status) basic human rights, then what DO we allow them?
It's an interesting debate - what rights SHOULD a visitor to our country enjoy? (Legal or not). Does the law of habeus corpus get thrown out if the suspect is not a US citizen? Do Miranda rights only apply to US citizens? Does the freedom of speech only apply to US citizens (and isn't THAT a lovely path to wander down, so many non citizens I'd love to have silenced...)
But, in the end, you are correct to question how and why rights are being given to non-citizens. I don't know, I suspect it's been a slow process, a Chinese water torture method of slipping in more and more over years, if not decades. The concept is sound, the generousity of according righst to visitors that we enjoy, but like everything else, it's been abused and shockingly warped by liberal judges and government beaurocracies.
"Our judicial system, and our nation itself, is falling apart at the seems because of these dishonest, agenda-driven judges and the do-nothing politicians who refuse to do anything about this judicial legislating and usurpation of their power."
And, if left unchecked, will lead to non-citizens being given MORE rights, and seperate rights. If this is allowed to stand, then how long until a Clinton appointee decides that not only can private business forbid gathering for day work on their property (Home Depot, 7-11, ect...), but they also must provide shelter, safety, and portajohns. It's typical that these days, the solution punishes the innocent, and rewards the criminal.
Expect more of this before the tide turns. Sadly, I don't think it's going to happen soon, the forces to turn the tide are just now waking up to the fact that we're drowning, and it will be a while before sufficiant forces (voting booths) can start the change.
This is saying solicitation of an illegal act is free speech.
U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall...that says it all....good luck buckwheat
Yes. Illegal aliens have Constitutional rights, whereas citizens have privileges. It why our 'leaders' are so hot to give them amnesty.
"A citizen of the United States is a citizen of the federal government ..."
(Kitchens v. Steele 112 F.Supp 383).
"... a construction is to be avoided, if possible, that would render the law unconstitutional, or raise grave doubts thereabout. In view of these rules it is held that `citizen' means `citizen of the United States,' and not a person generally, nor citizen of a State ..."
U.S. Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank, 92 US 542:
14 CJS section 4 quotes State v. Manuel 20 NC 122:
"... the term `citizen' in the United States, is analogous to the term `subject' in the common law; the change of phrase has resulted from the change in government."
U.S. v. Anthony 24 Fed. 829 (1873)
"The term resident and citizen of the United States is distinguished from a Citizen of one of the several states, in that the former is a special class of citizen created by Congress."
Why should the U.S. Constitution tell some city in California to hand out federal rights to illegal aliens anyway?
They're not federal rights, they're NATURAL rights which existed before the creation of government.
This ruling is ridiculous!
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