Protecting the right of Americans to govern themselves
May 16, 2016
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, a federal judge in Oregon dismissed a lawsuit (opinion attached here) brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups that requested the court force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens. In January, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (“IRLI”), along with Jill Gibson of the Gibson Law Firm, LLC, filed a motion to intervene in the suit and a motion to dismiss the case as lacking merit on behalf of their client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (“OFIR”).
Specifically, the lawsuit sought to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon, when, through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected (by more than 66% of voters) a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that would have extended eligibility for driving privileges to unlawfully present persons. OFIR was the driving force behind the referendum veto that collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.
Today, the Oregon U.S. District Court ruled that it could “not order the State to comply with legislation that could not and would not become effective, and no ruling would redress plaintiffs’ alleged injury.” Moreover, the court stated that it had “no authority to substitute the voter approval required by the Oregon Constitution” and “principles of federalism underlying the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments forbid th[e] Court from directing the State to enact or enforce state laws.”
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “We are happy with the outcome of this case. This case had no merit whatsoever and was a waste of the court’s time and precious resources.” Wilcox continued, “As I stated previously, this case was about sour grapes as the overwhelming majority of Oregonians had spoken and rejected at the ballot box taxpayer-funded giveaways to those who have no legal right to be here.”