A federal judge has denied several parties attempts to get involved in ongoing litigation regarding the legality of New York’s new Green Light Law.
A coalition of immigrant groups from New York, Western New York activist Dan Warren, and the New York State Conservative Party will not be allowed to get involved in the lawsuit. Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns challenged the law, which grants driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, in July.
It is scheduled to go into effect on December 14 unless Judge Elizabeth Wolford imposes a temporary injunction.
“Since the filing of this lawsuit, numerous third parties have sought leave of the court to become involved in various ways,” Wolford wrote in a decision and order filed Wednesday.
The judge acknowledged the court has already allowed multiple parties to submit amicus briefs as “friends of the court.” A coalition of eight states and the District of Columbia filed a brief in support of the defendants, New York State, as did the New York Civil Liberties Union last month.
Wolford also let the Immigration Reform Institute formally put its support in writing for the plaintiff.
“The Court acknowledges that notwithstanding its authority to demand a stringent test for status as amicus curiae, it has been somewhat flexible in allowing the submissions of briefs from amici curiae to date,” she wrote.
However, in the case of the state Conservative Party, the judge ruled it failed to submit a timely brief, making its request more than two weeks after a deadline set by the court with no explanation of justification as to why it was late. Wolford also concluded the party’s argument did not seem to add anything the original complaint had not already addressed.
Warren’s request to intervene as a defendant was actually opposed by both the plaintiff and defendants. The judge said said his concerns about the impact on Erie County taxpayers was speculative and could unnecessarily delay resolution.
Finally, Wolford wrote that a motion to intervene filed by the Rural and Migrant Ministry, New York Immigration Coalition, Hispanic Federal and Intervenors, and four unnamed individuals was also denied. While she conceded the parties may have different motives to protect the Green Light Law than state leaders, their ultimate objective of protecting it is the same.
The United State Justice Department has indicated it intends to intervene although the judge has not made a ruling with regards to that yet. Oral arguments are scheduled for October 23 in federal court in Buffalo.