The first lawsuit against the state’s Green Light Law to go to court has been dismissed.
In a 32-page decision released Friday, the U.S. District court for the Western District of New York determined that Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns “failed to establish standing to challenge the Green Light Law.”
As a result, the court “is left with no choice but to dismiss” the lawsuit.
The court also denied Kearns’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which would have prevented the law from taking effect in December.
Similar lawsuits are pending against the Green Light Law, filed in Niagara and Rensselaer counties.
Kearns had argued he had standing to challenge the lawsuit because he believed he’d be in violation of federal law if he approved applications for driver’s licenses submitted by people in the country without proper documentation.
Kearns, in a press conference Friday afternoon, fought back, saying the judge “punted” her responsibilities in failing to determine whether the Green Light Law is constitutional.
The state has not put forth any regulations or guidance on how to enforce the law, which is slated to take effect on December 14, he said.
“She punted. She didn’t rule on any merits of constitutionality of the rule,” Kearns said. “She didn’t want to weigh in on this. Nothing was resolved today. Nothing was addressed. She avoided ruling on the issue.”
He added that he’ll be meeting with his attorneys next week to determine their next steps.
Further, Kearns said that the judge made her decision without providing enough time for the federal government to weigh in on the case, something the government has expressed an interest in doing.
“They were going to provide paperwork on November 12, that would be the last day they could intervene,” he said. “They were so afraid to rule on the merits of this case, to give the taxpayers of this state an answer, she punted. She says ‘I’m not going to rule on this.’ We didn’t lose. But she spent 32 pages avoiding the law.”