Advocacy groups on Friday filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] asking a federal judge to block enforcement of the portion of the state's controversial immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive] that bans blocking traffic to acquire or offer day labor services. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [official website] and other opponents of the immigration law filed suit arguing that the portion of the law banning day labor is an unconstitutional [AP report] restriction of free speech on those who wish to communicate their need for work. They also assert that the state cannot justify the law by claiming that the customary day laborer practice creates traffic problems because there are existing laws designed to curb such problems.
This suit is one in a long line of legal challenges to the Arizona law. Last month, a federal judge dismissed a counterclaim [JURIST report] filed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] and state Attorney General Tom Horne [official profile] against the US government in the lawsuit challenging the controversial Arizona immigration law. In August, the state of Arizona filed a petition for writ of certiorari [JURIST report] with the US Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court decision enjoining four of the law's provisions. In a preview of how it might rule should it decide to hear the case, the Supreme Court in May ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that Arizona's controversial employment related immigration law [materials] is not preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) [text]. Last year, the Department of Justice [official website] sued [JURIST report] the state of Arizona and Governor Brewer over SB 1070, arguing that both the Constitution and federal law "do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country."