By PAUL ELIAS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Arizona's attempt to criminalize day laborers who block traffic seeking work came in for rough treatment before a federal appeals court.
The three-judge panel Wednesday of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco appeared skeptical of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's argument that the law was a legal way to remedy traffic congestion she says is caused by day laborers. A lower court judge had previously put the law on hold.
2 of the three judges asked why existing traffic laws couldn't solve the alleged problem.
The governor's attorney answered that existing laws are failing and that a specific prohibition is needed to ensure traffic safety.
Opponents argue the law's true purpose is to crackdown on illegal immigrants. They say it violates the laborers free speech rights.
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