Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Federal lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Certificate for Driving law

"[A] lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court ... claims the state's unique new law 'exhibit(s) a deliberate indifference' to the constitutional rights of immigrants and Hispanics and a 'pervasive pattern' of discriminatory actions in day-to-day operations at driver's license office."

"'Despite their assertion that homeland security is a compelling interest, I think their real reason for this law is that they don't like illegal aliens getting driver's licenses,' said Gonzalez, head of the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens."

"Gonzalez will be seeking a preliminary injunction later this week to stop the state immediately from issuing any more driving certificates until a judge rules on the lawsuit. He also will ask that the suit be considered a class-action suit applying to all immigrants and Hispanic residents who might be affected by the law."

"The suit challenges two other state policies as well: one is a year-old law banning Mexican consulate identity cards - but not those from any other country - as valid identification in applying for driver's licenses and state IDs."

The Tennessean

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