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Deep Dissent

From Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, USCA9 No. 06-55750, decided today:

Chief Judge KOZINSKI, with whom Judge BEA joins, in deep dissent:

This is folly.

For years, the city of Redondo Beach has had a serious problem with day laborers--sometimes as many as seventy-five--crowding sidewalks and street-corners, soliciting work from passing motorists. See Appendix 1. As might be expected when large groups of men gather at a single location, they litter, vandalize, urinate, block the sidewalk, harass females and damage property. Cars and trucks stop to negotiate employment and load up laborers, disrupting traffic.

Residents and businesses need not suffer these harms and indignities day in and day out for years on end. It is to secure the safety, beauty, tranquility and orderliness of neighborhoods that municipal governments are instituted among men. Nothing in the First Amendment prevents government from ensuring that sidewalks are reserved for walking rather than loitering; streets are used as thoroughfares rather than open-air hiring halls; and bushes serve as adornment rather than latrines. See Appendix 2. The majority is demonstrably, egregiously, recklessly wrong. If I could dissent twice, I would.


Under what theory do hordes of uncontrolled, undocumented, day laborers have more rights than licensed street vendors whose activities are closely controlled?

Under the theory that the city is just being mean to these poor guys and that their status as society's victims means that the citizenry can be imposed upon. Would that these guys congregate around the houses of these enlightened judges.

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