Judge Dismisses Clerk’s Suit Against Immigrant Licenses Law

Image by New York State DMV.

ALBANY — A federal judge has dismissed one of several lawsuits challenging a New York law set to allow immigrants without legal documents to seek driver’s licenses.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford dismissed Friday a lawsuit brought by Republican Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns. The lawsuit called New York’s law unconstitutional and sought to block its Dec. 14 rollout.

But a judge said Kearns lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because he didn’t show that he’d be harmed under the law. Kearns told reporters Friday that the judge “punted” her responsibilities.

Similar lawsuits are pending in two other counties.

Supporters say licenses would help immigrants work, transport their family and apply for college and housing. Opponents argue licenses shouldn’t be given to people who are in violation of federal immigration rules.


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