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It's been nearly two years since judges blocked the most controversial parts of a tough Arizona immigration law while the courts decide on its constitutionality. Now a judge has blocked a less publicized part of the law in a move that seems likely to give its opponents even more hope.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Wednesday that police can't enforce part of the law that prevents day laborers from stopping traffic while looking for work. The Associated Press notes that she put a halt to the provision because "groups seeking to overturn the law will likely prevail in their claim that the day labor rules violate the First Amendment."
Opponents of the immigration law claimed victory in July 2010 when a judge halted some of its most controversial provisions, including the requirement that immigrants carry their papers and law enforcement's ability to make random checks while courts reviewed it (at that point, they allowed enforcement of the day laborer traffic rule to proceed). Then a Federal Appeals court upheld the decision to block those controversial provisions. Many people took the temporary stays as a good sign
that the Federal Government had a strong case
that the state law is unconstitutional. And now with this new ruling, and the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on the hold ruling in April, we might soon get another strong indication of whether they're right.
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is an associate digital editor at Boston Magazine
and a former staff writer for The Atlantic Wire.