This groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit begin in 2004, when the City of Redondo Beach initiated the “Day Labor Enforcement Project.” Under a local ordinance that made soliciting day labor a crime, police arrested over 50 day laborers. The Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach and NDLON, represented by MALDEF, immediately brought suit, arguing that the City’s ordinance violated the First Amendment.
On September 16, 2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, struck down the ordinance, declaring: “We agree with the day laborers that the Ordinance is a facially unconstitutional restriction on speech.” The case is the first at the federal appellate level to decide the constitutionality of an anti-solicitation ordinance aimed at day laborers. On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear Redondo Beach’s appeal. The Supreme Court’s decision removed the City’s last chance to preserve its unconstitutional restriction on speech and confirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision as controlling law throughout the western United States.