PHOENIX (Reuters) - A federal judge blocked Arizona on Wednesday from enforcing a part of the state's immigration law that prohibits vehicle occupants from stopping traffic to pick up day laborers waiting for work.
In a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that plaintiffs seeking to overturn the law were "likely to succeed on the merits of their claim" that the rules violate the First Amendment.
"Plaintiffs have also shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction ... and that the public interest favors injunctive relief," Bolton said in the ruling.
Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer passed the state's tough immigration law in April 2010, seeking to clamp down on illegal immigrants in the Mexico border state.
The law includes a requirement that police check the immigration status of anyone they detained and suspected was in the country illegally. That was among measures blocked by Judge Bolton before it came into effect in July of that year.
Arizona appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear the case in April.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)